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MERN – Québec mines – Québec Mines 2014: Measuring Up to Expectations

November 2014    Print this article

Québec Mines 2014: Measuring Up to Expectations

Gladys Chamberland
Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles

Québec Mines 2014 will be the 35th gathering of the Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles (MERN) and Québec’s mining community. To underscore this anniversary, the team is delighted to offer a program that truly reflects what the Congress has become: rich, varied, relevant, mature, and of international calibre!

The Congress provides a unique opportunity for the mining sector’s artisans to review recent discoveries, learn about technological and scientific advances, and discuss current issues such as the Plan Nord and sustainable mine development. It is an ideal forum for meeting other people, finding solutions and talking business. You won’t want to miss this unique event!

A number of organizations have been involved in preparing the program, including the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM), the Association minière du Québec (AMQ), the Institut national des mines du Québec (INMQ), the Comité sectoriel de main-d'œuvre de l'industrie des mines (CSMO-Mines), Groupe MISA, 48e Nord, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Québec International, the Association des économistes québécois and the Centre Jacques Cartier.

The quality of their commitment to Congress participants is reflected in an outstanding Québec Mines program. Some of the highlights are presented briefly below.

The Technical Program

53 new exploration targets will be revealed at Québec Mines 2014

During the summer, MERN teams discovered 53 new exploration targets for metals and minerals including gold, nickel, copper, zinc, chrome, graphite, apatite, vanadium, lithium, rare earths and kimberlites. In addition, 318 exploration targets were generated from an assessment of the orogenic gold mineralization potential in James Bay. Participants will have an opportunity to consult photographic presentations and meet with MERN geologists to obtain additional information. They will also be able to attend a session entitled “A Broader Vision of Geological Sets in Québec and New Exploration Horizons”, which will summarize the geological work done in the last five years.

The Québec Mines 2014 technical program falls under three main headings: Economy, Environment and Society, Mine Operations, and Geology and Exploration. It includes roughly 15 training sessions, several of which are recognized as continuous training by the organizations concerned.

It also includes more than 80 conferences divided into 15 sessions on subjects such as international and regional economic prospects for the mining sector, mines and Northern Aboriginal communities, mine engineering and mine restoration challenges, mine exploration (from satellite to drone), and gold mineralizations and deformations along the Cadillac Fault in Abitibi.

See the event website for full program details.

The Exhibition

A “first”: the CAE TERRA mining simulator

Come and discover the CAE Terra mining simulator at Québec Mines 2014. 

The simulator, designed and built in Montreal, is able to reproduce highly realistic usage conditions for a broad range of mining equipment.

More than 200 exhibitors from every sphere of mine development in Québec will be present in the exhibition hall. Mining companies such as Stornoway Diamonds, Glencore, Agnico Eagle, Virginia Mines, GéoMega, Vanadium Corp., Nemaska Lithium and Ariane Phosphate will all be on site, along with product and service providers such as CAE, Aérophoto, Eagle Mapping, IOS – Geoscientific Services, Moreau Nunavik / Nunavik Construction, Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies Canada, and others. Also present will be the Secrétariat au Plan Nord, the First Nations of Québec and Labrador Economic Development Commission (FNQLEDC), 48e Nord, Groupe MISA and the Institut national des mines du Québec, not to mention the exhibitors in the Government Hub and all the geoscientific exhibitors, including several prospectors.

See the list of exhibitors on the Québec Mines website.

Business and networking activities

The CIM celebration gala

The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) will be hosting a Gala at Québec Mines 2014. It expects to welcome roughly 300 guests from Québec’s mining community for an evening of celebrations. This wonderful networking opportunity, to be held in the Hilton Québec ballroom, will begin with a reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner, dancing and a silent auction. All profits from the evening will go to the CIM Foundation, which organizes educational activities and offers scholarships to help bring the mining sector to the attention of young people in Canada.

At Québec Mines 2014, there will be plenty of opportunities to talk business, find solutions and engage in networking. A number of activities will be organized to bring mining companies and order-givers into contact with environmental and optoelectronic specialists, Plan Nord stakeholders and potential investors from Québec and abroad. Examples include the workshops organized by Groupe MISA, the National Mining Institute workshop on synergy between the mining industry and the education sector, and the discussion activity organized by True North Initiative, industry and government stakeholders.

Social activities are also planned every day, to provide times of relaxation in a friendly atmosphere conducive to business discussions. They include the Icebreaker activity on the Monday, the Geococktail and Gala Evening on the Tuesday and the “Scotch and Flavours” networking evening on the Wednesday. These activities have all been designed to help you forge contacts with your peers from Québec, and to meet with representatives of other countries.

Visit the Business and Networking and Social Activities pages for further details of the activities on the program.


The Korea-Canada Energy Forum – A First in Québec

At the Korea-Canada Energy Forum, held alongside Québec Mines, representatives from government authorities, industry leaders and Korean investors will meet with Québec firms at the B2B networking session organized to publicize Québec’s mine development expertise.

The INTERNATIONAL component of Québec Mines offers many activities that are open to all participants. Several conference sessions fall under the umbrella of this component, including the Entretiens Jacques Cartier activities on sustainable development, which will welcome speakers from Québec, France, Morocco and Belgium.

The INTERNATIONAL component will also offer a number of discussion and networking opportunities at special workshops, as well as inter-company meetings for foreign order-givers and goods and service providers, organized in collaboration with the Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie, CIM, 48e Nord and Export Québec.

Among other things, a half-day seminar led by three Swedish speakers will be held on the opportunities offered by the mining sector in Sweden and Scandinavia. The seminar is open to all Québec Mines participants (registration required).

For further information on Québec Mines International activities, visit the International section of the website.

This brief overview of Québec Mines 2014 presents only a taste of what the program has in store for you! And there are still some surprises to come! If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to register! Online registration is available until November 11. After that date, you must register onsite, at the Québec City Convention Centre, from 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 16.


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November 2014    Print this article

Training session on the geology of the Abitibi sub-province

Jean Goutier
Ministère de l'Énergie et des Ressources naturelles

Every year, Géologie Québec offers one-day training sessions on the geology of specific regions of Québec for Québec Mines participants.

In 2012, the session was entitled Geology and Mineral Deposits in Northern Québec, and was led by Thomas Clark, Jean Goutier and Martin Simard from the Ministère de l’Énergie et de Ressources naturelles (MERN). Attended by nearly 80 people, it focused on the geology of the Labrador Trough, James Bay and the north-eastern sector of Superior.

In 2013, the session was entitled “Exploring the Grenville Province: An ABC of its Geology, Deposits and Mineral Potential”. Led by  Abdelali Moukhsil and Fabien Solgadi from the MERN, Aphrodite Indarès from Memorial University and Louise Corriveau from the Geological Survey of Canada, it was attended by roughly 50 people, clearly confirming the need for this type of training.

This year, the subject of the session is “The Geology of the Abitibi Sub-Province: Recent Maps and Future Prospects”. It will present the MERN’s recent geological mapping and regional summary work in the Malartic–Val-d'Or, Rouyn-Noranda, Lac au Goéland and Chapais-Chibougamau regions, and will cover the following topics:

  • stratigraphic reviews using geochronological and geochemical data;
  • structural interpretation using field and aeromagnetic data; and
  • the potential for volcanogenic massive sulfides (VMS), copper-gold veins and orogenic gold.

Samples and maps will also be presented.

The session will be led by Pierre Pilote, who has supervised detailed mapping in the Malartic and Val-d’Or regions since 2006; by Jean Goutier, who has carried out mapping in the Rouyn-Noranda and Lac au Goéland regions; and by François Leclerc, who has studied and mapped the Chapais and Chibougamau regions since 2004. There will also be an opportunity for discussions with the session leaders. 

To register:


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MERN – Québec mines – Gaining a Better Understanding of the Mining Development Process

November 2014    Print this article

Gaining a Better Understanding of the Mining Development Process

Andrée-Marguerite Latour
Ministère de l'Énergie et des Ressources naturelles

Throughout human history, the use of metals and minerals has been a determining factor in the evolution of our current way of life. Today, more than ever, our quality of life is intimately linked to the use of metals and minerals. We, therefore, actively pursue the exploration and exploitation of the mineral resources that we need.

Exploiting these resources in a responsible and sustainable way involves a multi-stage process called the mineral development process. It’s a highly complex sequence that usually takes place over a number of years. To help participants better understand how it works, the Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles will present, in the framework of its annual Québec Mines convention, a training session on the different stages of mining development in Québec.

Mining 101

The Mining 101 training session will be given on November 17. It’s an opportunity for participants to become familiar with the mining sector and its vocabulary as well as discover the main stages in a mining project’s realization. The training will also provide specific information on the legal, technical and administrative aspects of a mining project.

The Québec Mining Act legislates all mining activity in Québec. The training session will discuss the obligations and privileges enjoyed by the holders of mining rights and give an overview of the various administrative requirements inherent in the development of a mining project from exploration through to mine site restoration. It will also look at the multitude of technical and administrative operations related to each of the stages and the legal, technical and administrative interconnections between them.

Moreover, what is the profile of the businesses involved in these stages? What are the unique challenges they face? What assistance is needed and available? How do they measure and what are the factors determining their success? How does a mining company integrate all the various regulatory requirements into the development of its own mining project? All these questions and more will be examined during this session.

To participate, please register on the Québec Mines website.
Cost: $200 (regular rate), $25 for students.

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MERN – Québec mines – Québec Mines Discovery: An Opportunity for Citizens to Become More Familiar with the Mining Sector

November 2014    Print this article

Québec Mines Discovery: An Opportunity for Citizens to Become More Familiar with the Mining Sector

Gladys Chamberland
Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles

As in every previous year, Québec Mines 2014 offers an opportunity for the general public and students from elementary and secondary schools to learn about the importance of mine development in their everyday lives.

Watch the Québec Mines Discovery promotional video and share it with people you know, so that they, too, can attend the event’s Open Day. 

Watch the Québec Mines Discovery promotional video and share it with people you know, so that they, too, can attend the event's Open Day.

Guided tours for school groups will take place on all three days of the Congress. Young visitors will discover the M4S Salon, which hosts the CIM’s educational exhibition on mines, metals, minerals and materials. The various pavilions will present interactive exhibits on different steps in the mining process, including exploration, treatment, processing and products, and on the geosciences. Once again this year, roughly 2,500 students are expected to visit Québec Mines Discovery.

On the Wednesday afternoon, Québec Mines opens its doors to the general public. They will have access to all the regular activities on the program, including the exhibition halls, the M4S Salon, and the conferences. Open Day is an excellent opportunity for all Québec Mines participants and exhibitors to become ambassadors for sustainable mine development.

Training Day for Teachers

Québec Mines Discovery also held a training day on September 19, 2014 for teachers and guidance counsellors from the primary school level. The theme of the training day was how mineral resources transform the world. Geology experts from the Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles along with others passionate about this field presented to about twenty teachers from 14 schools located in Montreal and its surroundings, conferences and workshops on minerals, rocks, geological provinces and industrial minerals as well as their utility in everyday life.

The comments were unanimous: “The content of the presentations was highly relevant and this subject matter will be very useful when teaching in class.”

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MERN – Québec mines – Consultation on 2015-2016 Geoscientific Knowledge Acquisition and Mineral Potential Assessment Projects in Québec

November 2014    Print this article

Consultation on 2015-2016 Geoscientific Knowledge Acquisition and Mineral Potential Assessment Projects in Québec

Patrice Roy
Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles

To help meet the needs of its various client groups, the Bureau de la connaissance géoscientifique du Québec is launching consultations on knowledge acquisition and mineral potential assessment projects in order to prepare the 2015 program and set guidelines for work in future years.

A questionnaire (in Word format) will be sent out by e-mail in the coming weeks to gather opinions from regional stakeholders and mine exploration industry representatives. If you do not receive a copy, it will be available for download here from November 18, 2014 onwards. Please take a few minutes of your time to complete it and return it by e-mail to before December 20, 2014.

To guide your reflections, we are pleased to present seven maps showing the current state of geoscientific knowledge in the province, plus one map showing exploration constraints:

Map 1. Geological Knowledge in Québec in 2014 (based on the number of documents available in SIGÉOM)

Map 2. Knowledge Map: 2014 Geological Map (years of publication of maps or geological reports [rock])

Map 3. Knowledge Map: 2014 Quaternary Map (years of publication of geological maps [quaternary deposits])

Map 4. Geophysical Survey Coverage (types of geophysical surveys available, 800-metre federal aeromagnetic data)

Map 5. Knowledge Map: 2014 Rock Geochemistry (rock sample density)

Map 6. Knowledge Map: 2014 Till Geochemistry (SIGÉOM) (till sample distribution)

Map 7. Knowledge Map: 2014 Stream Sample (stream sediment sample distribution)

Map 8. Mine Exploration Constraints

We invite you to consult the SIGÉOM interactive map to complete the profile of mining activity and geoscientific knowledge.

We hope many of you will take part in the survey, which is designed to help us meet your needs more fully.

Download the questionnaire

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MERN – Québec mines – Exploration targets now in SIGEOM

November 2014    Print this article

Exploration targets now in SIGEOM

Caroline Thorn
Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles

The Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles captures new data every year and announces new exploration targets that are revealed by means of a promotional Examine document (QERPRO).

The data are available in geomatic format and can be used in mapping applications viewable or extractable via the interactive map, the Web Mapping Service (WMS) or SIGÉOM à la carte.

In SIGÉOM, mineral exploration targets are classified under seven headings: mapping, spatial analysis potential assessment, geochemistry, geophysics, 3D modelling, quaternary and satellite.

Interactive map
The interactive map offers free consultation of data on exploration targets. The seven types of targets are shown on different layers of the map. Each geometric element can be searched and summary information about the target is displayed.

To consult the interactive map:

Web Mapping Service (WMS)
The Web Mapping Service allows data to be incorporated into a geographic information system (GIS). An article published in June 2013 on the subject of displaying and using SIGÉOM’s Web Mapping Service data gives further details of the procedure.

Exploration target data can also be found in the SIGÉOM Web Mapping Service (WMS) at the following address:

SIGÉOM à la carte
In the SigÉom à la carte environment, the entire database can be searched. The information provided is more detailed than that contained in the interactive map and Web Mapping Service, and consultation is free of charge. A Keyhole Markup Language (KML) file containing the search results can also be downloaded free of charge.

Users who require more detailed information may also purchase data in the form of shapefiles and geodatabase files. Both formats are provided upon purchase, and may be downloaded. Exploration targets appear under the heading “Mineral Potential” on the following page:

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MERN – Québec mines – A New Module for Quaternary Geology

November 2014    Print this article

A New Module for Quaternary Geology

Hugo Dubé-Loubert, Guillaume Allard, Virginie Daubois, Mohamed El Amrani and Charles Roy
Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles

The Système d’information géominière du Québec (SIGÉOM) is the cornerstone of geoscientific information dissemination in Québec. It’s a database containing geological information from government surveys and mining industry exploration. New elements have been integrated over the years and recently the SIGÉOM team developed a module that enables the integration of Quaternary geology. Quaternary geology is the branch of geology that documents surface sedimentary formations deposited from the great Pleistocene glaciations.

History of Quaternary Geology at the Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles

In 2008, following the launching of the groundwater knowledge acquisition program (PACES) funded by the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MDDELCC), it was agreed that the Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles (MERN) would be responsible for surface cartography for PACES projects. The MERN accepted to be the depository for the data gathered and surface maps produced and undertook responsibility for ensuring the dissemination of such information. A team was set up and work commenced concurrently on the SIGÉOM-Quaternary module.

The SIGÉOM-Quaternary Module

Prior to 2008, the SIGÉOM database already contained Quaternary geology data. In the period 1980 to1990, Ghismond Martineau, a geologist and quaternary specialist with the MERN, developed the basic module for the integration and dissemination of Quaternary geology data. Some 20 years later, it became evident that the structure of the Quaternary module needed to be reviewed to catch up with scientific progress after 25 years of inactivity. Essentially, the redevelopment of the module lay in the reorganization of the already existing components and the upgrading of the data model and legend settings. The priority changes consisted of harmonizing the Quaternary cartography legend of the Ministère with that of the Geological Survey of Canada (Parent et al., 2010) in order that all Quaternary work carried out in Québec be disseminated according to a uniform classification and legend.

New structure and dissemination of data 

The structure of the SIGÉOM-Quaternary module comprises several categories called entities:

  1. Morpho-sedimentological zone
  2. Surface morphology
  3. Chronological data
  4. Sites of stratigraphical interest and control points
  5. Erratics
  6. Glacial erosion marks

A number of surface deposit maps produced in the past years can be downloaded. The surface morphology accompanying these cartographical projects is also available. The À la carte SIGÉOM search engine enables searches according to various criteria: NTS sheet, type of sedimentological deposit, type of surface morphology, associated “Examine” document number, etc. Search results can be requested, as needed. The formats used for the delivery of various products comprise the geographical database files from the firm ArcGIS (FGDB) and the ShapeFile format. The requested vectorial documents contain the MERN signature in relation to the cartographical settings (symbols, colours, etc.).

A number of other maps produced in recent decades should soon be available to clients. Also, in the coming months, the other entities (geochronological data, erratics, etc.) will also be available, with the gradual integration of new data.

It should be noted that the SIGÉOM database also contains a surface deposit geochemistry entity. This entity, which existed prior to the development of the Quaternary module, groups together all analyses performed in the secondary environment (tills, eskers, lakebed sediment samples, etc.). Depending on the type of sample analyzed, users can do searches according to a multitude of criteria. For example, for the same glacial sediment sample (till), users can select analyses of the fine fraction (silt-clay) or the heavy fraction (heavy mineral concentrates) of the matrix and also select the sample-taking method (rotasonic drilling, reverse circulation drilling, etc.). An addition to this entity should soon allow for the integration of analyses done on indicator minerals, to complete the “Geochemistry” section of the SIGÉOM-Quaternary module.

Building the SIGÉOM-Quaternary module has required a major design development effort. Its development has been possible thanks to the collaboration of many actors involved in Quaternary geology in Québec (universities, Geological Survey of Canada, etc.) and employees from various divisions of the MERN. When completed, its development and improvements will provide access to an exhaustive and uniform databank on Quaternary geology for the entire province of Québec. Moreover, it will ensure a permanent record of this information for Québec society.

Everything is available on the internet at:


Parent M., Paradis S.J. and Boivin R. (2010). Formations superficielles : légende et notes descriptives- 1/50 000 à 1/125 000. Version 11, unpublished.

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MERN – Québec mines – AQUEST, Ten Years of Celebrating Excellence

November 2014    Print this article

AQUEST, Ten Years of Celebrating Excellence

Andrea Amortegui, Abdelali Moukhsil, Fabien Solgadi, Guillaume Allard and Patrice Roy
Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles

The Association québécoise des sciences de la Terre (Québec Association of Earth Sciences, or AQUEST) was founded in 2004 to promote the Earth sciences among college and university students in Québec. Its mission is to publicize the original contribution made by the geosciences to society.

In the ten years since its foundation, AQUEST has organized geoscientific activities designed for organizations and individuals with an interest in the quality of training and research in Québec. Among other things, it encourages college and university students in related fields (Earth sciences and mine engineering) to present their research findings.

AQUEST’s mission and activities are consistent with the principle of sustainable development through access to information: “Measures aimed at promoting education, access to information and research must be encouraged with a view to stimulating innovation and improving the general public’s awareness of and participation in the implementation of sustainable development.”

Because of its status as a section of the Geological Association of Canada, AQUEST forms part of a network that extends far beyond Québec’s borders. In addition, as a French-language organization, it serves as a gateway to the French-speaking population for the Geological Association of Canada.

AQUEST Scholarships

AQUEST has organized a competition for students at every annual congress of the Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles since 2005 (Québec Exploration from 2005 to 2009 and Québec Mines since 2012), awarding scholarships to the winners. For the 2014 edition of the AQUEST-Québec Mines competition, four university scholarships will be awarded: three to postgraduate students (Master’s and Doctoral level), and one to an undergraduate student. Over the years, participation in the competition has increased significantly, from 10 in 2010 to 30 in 2013. The awards acknowledge the quality of academic training in the geosciences in Québec, and facilitate exchanges between graduate students and companies.

In addition, the Association is involved in organizing the Défi EXPLO Québec Mines competition, in which teams of three students, representing different universities, must produce an exploration project within a 12-hour timeframe. Each team is allocated a specific prospecting sector, and must then race against the clock, using a computer equipped with the necessary ArcGIS tools and all the geological and geophysical data from SIGEOM to target a mining property, prepare a detailed exploration program based on the property’s geology and available substances, and produce a detailed report on the program. The winning team, the one whose exploration project is chosen by the judges as the most promising, receives a prize. 
Since it was first founded, AQUEST has awarded more than $32,000 in scholarships and sponsorship. Once again this year, it is offering scholarships worth a total of $6,000 for the two competitions. 

AQUEST is proud to encourage students to persevere in their field of study and stimulate performance and innovation through their research. Its efforts also help to consolidate the existing network of young scientists dedicated to the promotion of the geosciences in Québec.


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