Ninety percent of Québec’s bedrock consists of Precambrian rocks of the Canadian Shield. This geological assemblage is world-renowned for its gold, copper, zinc, nickel, iron, and ilmenite deposits.
World-class ore deposits
Exploration conducted by mining stakeholders, both public and private, has led to the discovery of several sizable ore deposits in Québec, many of which are considered world-class, namely the Horne, Gaspé Copper, Selbaie (former producers) and LaRonde mines for base metals, and the Doyon and Sigma-Lamaque mines for gold.
Québec also has tremendous mineral potential for other commodities, as illustrated by ore deposits at Mont Wright (iron) in Fermont, Lac Tio (iron and titanium) in Havre-Saint-Pierre, Niobec (niobium) in the Saguenay region, Stratmin (graphite) in Mont-Laurier, Raglan (nickel-copper) in Ungava and Renard (diamond) in northern Québec.
Moreover, well-established mining districts such as Val-d’Or, Rouyn-Noranda, Matagami, and Chibougamau still host significant deposits, namely at depth. The discoveries in these camps were generally found at more than 200 metres below surface, and in certain cases, down to 2,000 metres depth. And yet, in many areas, the vast majority of exploration drillholes have not tested beyond the 200-metre mark. Meanwhile, surface discoveries are still quite likely to be made in volcanic belts in the Near and Far North regions of Québec, as illustrated by the presence of the Troilus and Eleonor ore deposit, in the Baie-James region.
Québec is blessed with a vast landmass which, outside of mining districts, remains little or virtually unexplored.
Thus, Québec has seen several major staking rushes over the past few years.
- in the Monts Otish area, following the announcement of the discovery of diamond-bearing kimberlites;
- in the Ungava Trough, following the announcement of a Ni-Cu-PGE discovery associated with ultramafic units to the south of the Raglan mine;
- in the Réservoir Opinaca area, in the Baie-James region, following the announcement of gold mineralization in quartz veins cross-cutting sedimentary rocks.
Other areas are also very active in the search for platinum, namely to the west of Schefferville, and for diamond, in the Wemindji, Caniapiscau, and Nottaway areas. The Cadillac mining camp in the Abitibi region has also attracted its share of interest for gold and its potential for deep-seated ore deposits, in the wake of exploration successes on the Westwood project, at the LaRonde mine, and the discovery of the Lapa deposit. In fact, the latter probably represents the most important off-minesite gold discovery to be made in Québec over the past decade. Several companies are trying to duplicate the results on adjoining properties.