April 2015    Print this article

Ministerial directive on statutory work reports for claims (mining titles): Adding value to the assessment of Québec’s mineral potential

Pascal Levasseur
Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles

The information gained from statutory work, indexed in SIGÉOM’s documentary archives, contributes greatly to our understanding of the province. For example, diamond drilling accounts for 160,000 mineral occurrences in the SIGÉOM database, providing valuable first-hand information about Québec’s bedrock.

On October 16, 2014, a new ministerial directive (in French) on statutory work reports was adopted under section 72 of the Mining Act (chapter M-13.1). Statutory work reports document the activities carried out by mining title holders to keep their claims active. These reports must be prepared in accordance with established rules, and must be accompanied by the necessary documents in order to be accepted. This directive is part of a long-term vision that allows those accessing SIGÉOM data to make use of an interactive map or other software to view statutory work (GM) maps at the precise locations where the surveys were carried out.

One of the requirements of the directive will improve our knowledge base for the territory covered by all the work. The maps that accompany the assessment reports must be provided in GeoTIFF format using the NAD83 Québec Lambert projection. The advantage of this projection is that it avoids fragmentation of the province’s land into zones, similar to what happens with the UTM projection, and it facilitates the integration of unmodified data into SIGÉOM technologies by avoiding ambiguities related to data that overlap more than one zone.

From the outset, Québec will reap the benefits through improvements to the quality of SIGÉOM’s geoscientific data and a better assessment of the province’s mineral potential. By providing easier access to companies’ statutory work maps, knowledge about the location of exploration activities will be rapidly transferred to industry representatives, government decision-makers who act on behalf of the province and non-specialists.

It is important to point out that mining companies contribute in a growing number of ways to our knowledge about this province by making their databases available to the Ministry’s geologists, other stakeholders in the sector and the general public. This improves our understanding about Québec’s geology and makes it easier to plan knowledge-acquisition activities.

In summary, by complying with this directive, mining companies will expand the ways in which SIGÉOM’s database can be used, develop new means to increase mineral exploration productivity, and meet the industry’s demand for more detailed models.

The entire mining scene in Québec will benefit by adopting this new directive. The province’s mineral potential will be easier to assess once the information is directly accessible in map form. In return, the industry will be able to consult the collective work on an interactive map that will improve their property descriptions and the dissemination of results to stakeholders. The general public will also see the types of research work being carried out in the mining sector, and the regions that are expected to be the subject of active research work. This will strengthen the communication and sharing of ideas between various stakeholders.

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