June 2011    Print this article

Symposium Mine Baie-James2011:
a successful Cree-Jamesian collaboration

Patrick Houle, MRNF Nord-du-Québec

It was a resounding success for the Symposium Mines Baie-James 2011, held from May 30 to June 1, 2011 in Chibougamau and the Cree community of Mistissini! Organizers expected 200 people to attend the mining symposium, but the final total was 300. Delegates and participants included prospectors, service companies, government representatives, citizens, and 35 representatives from mining companies. The event was made possible thanks to the Chapais-Chibougamau branch of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM), the Nord-du-Québec office and the Bureau d’Exploration Géologique du Québec (Géologie Québec) of the Ministère des Ressources Naturelles et de la Faune (MRNF), the company Développement Chibougamau, and the Cree Nation of Mistissini. Just as important to mention, the symposium would not have been possible without the financial support of many partners (PDF Format, 86,1 Ko).

The opening evening presentation discussed the important role of mining development in parallel with the history of road and hydroelectric development in the Baie-James territory. The symposium days were divided into three separate geoscience conference sessions. During the conferences, each held in front of a full audience, the speakers set out to demonstrate the vast mineral potential of the Baie-James territory for a multitude of mineral substances (Au-Ag-Cu-Zn-Pb-Ni-Mo-Li-REE-U-PGE-Co-Cr-diamonds), a potential that is substantiated by the advanced stage of a number of mining projects on the territory. The sessions notably focused on the geology and mineral potential of the Chapais-Chibougamau, Troilus-Nemaska-Éléonore and Monts Otish areas.

Géologie Québec used the occasion to make public two new products (EP 2011-01 in French and EP 2011-02 in English) that provide an update on the potential for volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposits in the Abitibi Subprovince and the Frotet-Evans volcano-sedimentary belt. This work delineated 3,611 zones of high favourability, and 365 of these targets remained unstaked as at April 9, 2011. A map of the favourable zones was generated at a scale of 1:500,000 and the zones were registered in GESTIM and SIGEOM-Examine. Géologie Québec also announced that documents about new geophysical surveys in the Baie-James territory have also been published (EP 2011-03 and 04).

More than 250 people attended each of the dinner-seminars. During the dinner-seminar of May 31, the invited speaker, Mr Serge Simard, Deputy Minister of Natural resources and Wildlife, gave a presentation on the subject of: “The government’s vision for mineral resource development and promotion within the age of sustainable development.”

In the closing dinner-seminar of June 1 in Mistissini, the Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees of Québec, Mr Matthew Coon Come, spoke about a number of subjects, including the recent signing of a framework agreement between the government of Québec and the Cree Nation.

The symposium achieved its main goal to improve our understanding about the vast Baie-James region and reveal its extraordinary mineral potential. The Cree-Jamesian collaboration during this historic meeting demonstrates the common desire to work together and develop this huge territory while respecting the cultural distinctiveness of each community. Symposium Mines Baie-James 2011 was a perfect fit for the current social and economic context given by the region’s mineral resource boom and the implementation of the Plan Nord.

Abstracts and presentations are available at Symposium Mines Baie-James 2011

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