Québec made a good showing at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention, held in Toronto from March 4 to 7, 2012. In addition to the always strong presence of the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune (MRNF) at the trade show, the two-day visit to promote the Plan Nord by Québec Premier Jean Charest and the Minister for Natural Resources and Wildlife, Serge Simard, attracted a lot of interest.
Mr. Charest and Mr. Simard were very busy during their two-day visit. On Sunday night, the first day of the convention, Premier Charest said a few words of welcome at a reception for all Québecers and representatives of companies active in Québec attending the PDAC convention. In all, the event attracted about 190 people.
The following day, after breakfast with members of the business community, Mr. Charest and Mr. Simard dropped by the MRNF booth at the PDAC trade show. Mr. Charest spoke with a few MRNF specialists and with partners sharing the booth. He also visited other companies exhibiting their products and services at the show. Afterward, Mr. Charest delivered a speech to 500 people gathered by the Canadian Club of Toronto at the Royal York. The speech, covered by the media, was very much in the news the next day!
After this very successful lunch, Mr. Charest went on to meet his Ontario counterpart, Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario, after which he delivered a speech at the Investment Forum of the Canada-China Chamber of Commerce, Deloitte and Gowlings, which brought together 130 leaders of Chinese companies responsible for mineral supplies.
At the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, that afternoon, the MRNF held a Plan Nord seminar. Minister Simard inaugurated the seminar, which was attended by 190 people. The program featured five presentations focusing on mineral potential and investment potential in the area covered by the Plan Nord.
The Québec Premier’s visit to Toronto was a success, in the opinion of the main parties involved, that is, Mr. Charest and Mr. Simard. It was the result of a team effort by the Bureau du Québec à Toronto, the Ministère des Ressources Naturelles et de la Faune, Investissement Québec and the Ministère du Développement Économique, de l’Innovation et de l’Exportation!
Meanwhile, at the MRNF booth...
From Sunday, March 4, to Wednesday, March 7, more than 10,000 people visited the space reserved by the Québec government. They were welcomed by representatives of the Mines branch—geologists, information system managers and other specialists in the field—and of the Plan Nord coordination branch. Finding out more about mineral potential, discovering the exploration targets revealed by MRNF experts, understanding more about Québec’s business environment and the business opportunities provided by the Plan Nord, getting answers to questions about accommodations in Québec, were some of the topics addressed during these few days.
The PDAC convention, held every year in early March in Toronto, is the largest of its kind in the world. It brings together nearly 30,000 mining industry stakeholders from over 120 countries, and features exhibits by some 1,300 companies, associations and governments. Québec, ranked among the top five most attractive jurisdictions for mining exploration investment worldwide, according to the Fraser Institute, figured prominently with the third largest booth.
The effect of the Québec government’s presence at the PDAC convention is felt in the number of mining claims designated during the convention period and in sales of geoscience products. There is also an average increase of 40% in sales of geoscience information during the convention. This issue of the Québec Mines bulletin also features the article “PDAC 2012: the BEGQ’s targets attracted attention” by Daniel Lamothe which illustrates these benefits. Networking and discussions at the convention are equally productive in the short to medium term.
It’s a date—November 26 to 29, 2012, at the Québec City convention centre, for Québec Mines – Crossroads of geoscience and mineral resources.
Geological Map of Québec
Direction de l'information géologique
Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune
A new geological map of Québec will be making its debut at the Québec Mines 2012 conference. Since the previous edition of the geological map dated back to 2002, it was time to update it and to integrate new geological knowledge collected in the field by teams from the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune (Géologie Québec). This new knowledge, which covers all of Québec, will enhance the geological map’s overall appearance and the level of detail available.
The new geological map of Québec will contain a searchable database with stratigraphic information about each digitized geological area. It will be available on the Internet as an interactive map and a Web Map Service (WMS). This will make it possible to associate geological information with geographical data (e.g., topography, hydrography, etc.).
The 2012 geological map of Québec will also be used as a promotional tool for geological information about Québec, including the area covered by the Plan Nord.
Québec geoscience programming in 2012
Patrice Roy and Charles Maurice
Bureau de l’exploration géologique du Québec
Québec’s geological exploration bureau, the Bureau de l’exploration géologique du Québec (BEGQ), is responsible for acquiring and processing geoscience knowledge throughout Québec. In 2012–2013, the BEGQ will be finishing 22 projects in Québec. Through the mining heritage component of the Natural Resources Fund, financed by royalties from mining operations, almost $13 million will be invested in geoscience work. An additional amount of at least $300,000, obtained through an agreement with the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs (MDDEP), will fund mapping of Quaternary deposits in the areas targeted by its municipal groundwater knowledge acquisition program, the Programme d’acquisition de connaissances sur les eaux souterraines du Québec municipalisé. Therefore, 18 geoscience knowledge acquisition projects, including six geological surveys, seven Quaternary surveys, two geochemical projects and three geophysical surveys (PDF Format, 3,2 Mb) will be carried out. Two studies of mineral potential and two 3D models will also be completed. Finally, to conserve Québec’s geological heritage, several outstanding geological sites will be visited to finalize their characterization.
The six geological surveys are part of an extensive geoscience knowledge acquisition program intended to spur exploration in northern Québec and the mining regions.
The Churchill–Lac Saffray (No. 1) project is part of a reconnaissance project at a scale of 1:250,000 in the Churchill geological province that is in its second year. In 2012–2013, the area southeast of Kuujjuaq, that is, the eastern part of NTS map sheet 24F and sheet 24 G, will be covered.
Two geological surveys will be carried out in the Baie James area. The Baie James–La Grande 4 (No. 2) project consists of a survey in the La Grande Subprovince and covers the eastern extension of volcanosedimentary units in the Lac Guyer and Lac de la Corvette area. The Baie James–Lac Kamusaawach (No. 3) project, on the other hand, covers the contact between the La Grande Subprovince to the north and the Opinaca Subprovince to the south. These two surveys at a scale of 1:50,000 are the extension to the east and south of mapping projects carried out in the past three years near the La Grande 3 and 4 reservoirs.
The Grenville–Outardes (No. 4) project consists of mapping at a scale of 1:50,000 of paragneiss, quartzite, anorthositic suites and gabbro units around the Manicouagan reservoir, in the Grenville Province. It is the extension to the southwest of the geological survey of the Tétépisca area conducted last year.
A geological survey at a scale of 1:20,000 will be carried out west of Chapais (No. 5) to improve understanding of the geology and better document gold and volcanogenic massive sulphide potential outside the traditional Chapais and Chibougamau mining camps. It will also define the extension of the oldest volcanic rocks in the Abitibi region (Chrissie Formation) and refine their stratigraphy.
The multidisciplinary Malartic (No. 6) project will cover a 1:20,000 NTS map sheet. It will bridge the gap between mapping of the western part of the Malartic Group and of the Val-d’Or Formation to the east and improve characterisation of gold and nickel mineralization in the area. This project is being conducted with the Geological Survey of Canada, the Canadian Mining Innovation Council and several mining companies.
The Lac Romanet (No. 7) project will complete the airborne magnetic and spectrometric coverage of the New Québec Orogen. It is the second and final phase of a multi-year project undertaken to provide coverage of the area equivalent to the past few years’ coverage east of Baie James.
The Rivière à la Baleine (No. 8) project consists of a magnetic and spectrometric survey in the central part of the Churchill Province that will contribute to improving geological mapping in this area.
Finally, the project north of the Ungava Orogen (No. 8) consists of an airborne magnetic and spectrometric survey covering the northern part of the Ungava peninsula. This survey will initially be used to contribute to the assessment of orogenic gold potential (project No. 18), and then to complete reconnaissance mapping of this area.
Project No. 10 consists of a lake-bottom sediment survey in the southwestern portion of the Grenville geological province, north of urban areas along the Rivière des Outaouais and the Fleuve Saint-Laurent. A more detailed survey will be carried out to document geochemical signatures in the Kipawa area (project No. 10a), known for its rare earth potential.
Project No. 11 consists of the reanalysis, by ICP-MS, of archived sediment samples from 1997. Once this project has been completed, all Québec’s lake-bottom sediment samples will have been analyzed at the same laboratory, using the same method.
Concurrent with the Churchill–Lac Saffray (No. 1) geological mapping project, an ambitious project of Quaternary mapping and surficial deposit sampling is being initiated this year in the area covered by NTS map sheet 24G (No. 1a).
To the south, four Quaternary deposit mapping projects (Nos. 12, 13, 14, 15) at a scale of 1:50,000 will target the Charlevoix, Nicolet–Saint-François, Outaouais and Chaudière areas. These projects are intended to support the MDDEP’s municipal groundwater knowledge acquisition program in southern Québec. Project No. 12 will be conducted jointly by the BEGQ, Université Laval and Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. Projects Nos. 13 and 14 will be carried out by Université du Québec à Montréal, while project No. 15 will be conducted by Université Laval.
In addition, the Mégantic area (No. 16) will be covered by an aggregate inventory project.
Finally, an inventory of aggregate resources will also be conducted for the community of Kuujjuaq (project No. 17). This operation is being carried out in response to a request from the Ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l’Occupation du territoire (MAMROT) to assess the availability of new resources for meeting immediate needs related to melting permafrost in Nunavik communities.
Studies of potential and 3D modeling
A study of orogenic gold potential will be carried out in the area north of the Ungava Orogen (Project No. 18).
Project No. 19, a pilot project, is designed to target gossan-type alteration using high-resolution satellite images.
After four drilling programs on Quaternary deposits in the Rivière Octave area, a 3D model (Project No. 20) will be produced to provide a better understanding of the geometry and extent of Quaternary units in the area. The model will then be used as a platform to integrate analyzes of till fine fractions and heavy minerals.
Finally, the project for rock characterization and 3D modeling of the geology of the Îles de la Madeleine (No. 21) will be carried out jointly with the MDDEP, École Polytechnique de Montréal and Université Laval to document the effect of climate change on aquifer replenishment.
Conservation of geological heritage
This summer, a new knowledge acquisition project will be initiated to improve the characterization of sites targeted to become outstanding geological sites.
Preliminary results from all these surveys and studies will be released at the Québec Mines conference to be held at the Centre des Congrès de Québec from November 26 to 29, 2012.
Improved viewing of documents in E-Sigeom Examine
Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune
Since January 2012, a new version of the function that lets you view Examine documents has been online. Faster and more flexible, with a larger window for better viewing, it is a whole new experience.
In November 1999, the first Examine documents (nearly 400), were made available on the Internet. This imaging project resulted from the need expressed by the mining industry for better access to the Examine information holdings at regional offices. At the time, the information holdings were only available on microfiche and in hard copy. Scanning and electronically disseminating the documents looked like the best solution. In developing and applying this new imaging technology, Géologie Québec was breaking new ground. Since then, over 70,000 documents consisting of more than 3,000,000 pages and 450,000 maps have been digitized and are available online. Today, it is the most popular way to view documents from information holdings, all over the world.
However, the application used has not been updated since its implementation. It has therefore aged and needs many improvements. Many customers have commented that the window is small, that there are delays and that Java versions have been causing problems since 2010, because newer versions are not compatible with the application developed in 1999. In addition, new display technologies have emerged over the past 10 years. A choice had to be made; either retain the existing application and attempt to improve it or migrate to a commercial product already installed at the MRNF.
Lizardtech, a logical choice
LizardTech is a leader in the dissemination and management of imagery. In addition, since it is already under contract to the MRNF, the latter has developed expertise. This technology was the best option. Everyone’s needs are met by the performance and functionality it provides.
To view the images, the “ExpressView Browser Plug-in” must be installed on the computer. Compared to the Java application, this plug-in provides a wider range of tools for navigation and control, which makes viewing much more enjoyable.
In the dissemination process, the data has to be compressed into a new image format, JPEG 2000. With millions of files to convert, it will take a little over a year. However, as soon as a document is converted, it is made available with the new version of the viewer.
Recent documents are being converted first. Here are some figures on the conversion, as of May 1, 2012:
- 740,000 files have been processed (28%)
- 27,000 documents have been converted
- 70% of the files will have been processed by the end of 2012
- The process will be completed in summer 2013
So please take another look at Géologie Québec’s geoscience information holdings, and experience the improvements provided by this new viewing technology for yourself.
Twelve Students from France and Morocco attend the 2012 Abitibi field School
Patrice Roy, Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune
Denis Bois, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue
Anne-Sylvie André-Mayer and Alain Cheilletz, Université de Lorraine, France
Since 2008, Québec’s Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune (MRNF), in partnership with the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT), the Université de Nancy and the mining industry, has been organizing the field school entitled “Géologie en contexte nord-américain”(geology in a North American context). The internship program is designed specifically for geology graduates from French universities outside Québec, who come to perfect their practical training in the field in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, a world-renowned geological and mining region. This year, the fifth edition was held from May 13 to 25, with a cohort of twelve students from France and Morocco.
Group photo of students from the class of 2011 at the field school with a few professors.
The internship provides students with a practical application of the academic training they received in geology and with basic knowledge about rock and geological structures prospective for mineralization. It enables them to learn new concepts of the dynamics of geological events and to master modern geological fieldwork methods (observation, analysis, interpretation), while remaining grounded in direct observation and handling of geological materials. Finally, the course contributes to enhancing the students’ knowledge of North American geology.
Students examining a mineralized outcrop under the watchful eye of supervisors (west zone, Horne mine sector in Rouyn-Noranda).
During this course, students become familiar with copper and zinc deposits of volcanic origin and gold deposits associated with the Abitibi region’s well-known major faults (Cadillac-Larder Lake Break and Porcupine-Destor Fault). The students, registered at UQAT throughout the activities, receive three academic credits when they successfully complete the program. Each participant then works in a paid internship for three months as part of a geological team with the MRNF or a mining company.
Students learning how to take structural measurements properly in blocky tuff (Cap d’Ours, Rouyn-Noranda, university sector).
Several MRNF geologists, some of whom are also professors associated with UQAT, join teachers from that university, two French professors from the École nationale supérieure de géologie de Nancy and a Moroccan professor from the Université Moulay Ismaïl (Faculté des sciences de Meknès) in supervising the thematic activities, which include health, safety, transport and communication aspects.
Group of students listening to an explanation of replacement-type gold mineralization (trench on the Francoeur deposit in Rouyn-Noranda).
The Abitibi field school is an original initiative supported by Emploi Québec. It encourages the recruitment of qualified geologists from abroad, who would be in a position to rapidly and effectively meet the needs of the mining industry and government agencies. This unique program also helps to develop useful and solid relationships within the French-speaking community in the field of earth sciences.
Québec Mines 2012: a must attend event for the mining industry!
The geoscience and mining community is expected in large numbers at Québec Mines 2012, a conference organized by the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune, to be held November 26-29 at the Québec City Convention Centre. A number of key partners are involved in this crossroads of geoscience and mineral resources, including the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM), Québec Mining Association (QMA) and the Comité sectoriel de main-d’œuvre de l’industrie des mines (CSMO mines). Québec Mines 2012 is a world-class event that will meet or exceed everyone’s expectations.
Presided over by honorary chair Dominique Dionne, chair of the QMA board of directors, the conference will have the theme “Of Mines and Men.”
Monday, November 26 will be workshop day. Workshops will explore a wide range of themes, from the geology of northern Quebec and basic concepts in metallurgy to evaluating mining potential using geoscience databases and tools such as Esri’s ModelBuilder. Stop by regularly at the Québec Mines 2012 website to see the latest additions to the program.
The following days, November 27, 28 and 29, will feature a plenary session and six conference sessions running in two different rooms. Participants will have plenty to choose from, to say the least.
Tuesday, November 27
On Tuesday morning, a plenary session entitled “The New Role of the State in Mining Development” will give participants the chance to ask questions and get answers on this subject. Topics discussed will include international trends in government involvement, how Québec compares to other jurisdictions and the future role of Ressources Québec (MRNF) and the government corporation Société québécoise d’exploration minière (SOQUEM) in this new model.
In the afternoon, attendees can chose between two sessions, one presenting the results of fieldwork by Géologie Québec in various regions of the province and the other discussing recent developments in the field of metallurgy that may have direct repercussions on mineral exploration, entitled “The New Metallurgy of Classical Substances and the Impacts for Exploration.“
Wednesday, November 28
Four conference sessions will be held on Wednesday. In the morning, “The Metallurgy of New Substances of Interest” will deal with the processing of strategic substances such as rare earth metals and lithium, while “The Geoscientific and Mining Issues of Northern Development” will tackle issues related to exploration and development activities in a northern environment.
In the afternoon, these sessions will be followed by two open to the general public under the Québec Mines for all program. The first, “The Socio-Economic Issues of Northern Development,” will focus on social issues related to northern development while the second, “Mines Past and Present,” will look at changes to the Québec mining sector over the years.
Thursday, November 29
On Thursday morning, a geoscience-oriented session, “The Metallogeny of New Deposit Types,” will profile the geological characteristics of certain increasingly sought-after deposit types, while the second session. “Green Mining,” will discuss recent breakthroughs made in reducing the environmental impacts of mining operations.
Environmental concerns will again be in the spotlight in the afternoon, with the session “Restoration and Mining.” Lastly, “The Challenges of Mining Low-Grade Deposits” will deal with the specific issues involved in high-volume mining projects, which have become increasingly popular.
Québec Mines for all
Whether you are a student, jobseeker or ordinary citizen, Québec Mines for All is for you, whether you are looking for information on mining development in Québec or job opportunities in this rapidly expanding industry (including prospects in northern Québec) or just want to know more about the world of mines and minerals. This event features a half-day open house, employment fair and activities for school groups and will be a meeting place for all those interested in mining and earth sciences. Over 3,000 people are expected to attend!
For more information, visit our website. The website will de updated regularly with new information.
We look forward to seeing you at the Québec City Convention Centre on November 26-29, 2012.
New graduate micro-program in applied management for the mining industry
In November 2011, the UQAT-UQAM Chair in Mining Entrepreneurship was created, under an initiative by Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT) and Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). The goals in establishing the Chair were to support the development of entrepreneurship in Québec’s mining industry, develop and strengthen graduate-level training and research in mining and design specific training programs to meet the need for in-depth knowledge in the field. This program responds to a critical need often expressed by the mining exploration sector and mining entrepreneurs in particular. In addition, through Québec’s Mineral Strategy, the government aims to not only promote the growth of Québec firms involved in exploration but also support the creation of a skilled workforce to help companies move on to the next stages in the process, namely extraction and processing.
After the creation of the Chair, UQAT established a graduate micro-program in applied management for the mining industry. This programs helps students to improve their management knowledge and skills so that they are better equipped to meet the challenges faced by the mining industry, in a context of market globalization and with sustainable development in mind.
Applications for admission to the program in the fall 2012 session are now being taken. To find out more about this innovative new program and the wealth of knowledge targeted.