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Quebec Government announces Forum on Mining Royalties, March 15th, 2013

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Québec Minister of Finance and Economy Nicolas Marceau and Québec Minister of Natural Resources Martine Ouellet announce that a forum on mining royalties will be held on March 15th, 2013 in Montréal, during which the mining industry and groups affected by this issue will be consulted.

This announcement made at the Strategic Forum on natural resources which was held in Montréal on February 8th, 2013, follows the commitments undertaken by the Parti Québécois during the last election campaign to raise mining royalties. The forum will enable the parties to agree on the “best way to get there”, said Minister Marceau.

In his speech announcing the forum on mining royalties, Minister Marceau indicated that the following principles are guiding the Québec Government: royalties must be increased, the extracted mineral must generate royalties in all cases, the most profitable projects must generate more royalties and transformation in Québec must be encouraged. He also indicated that the challenge is to find the balance between maximizing royalties, maximizing investments and maximizing employment in the mining sector.

A consultation document will be made available by March 1st and will be available on the Ministry websites. The document will include information on the mining sector, on the operation of the current Québec mining tax regime and on the total amount of royalties collected from mining companies in Québec.

The Québec Mining Association and the Québec Mineral Exploration Association as well as several mining companies, groups and experts will be invited to provide their opinion and suggestions on this question. These consultations will culminate in the forum on mining royalties which will be co-presided by Mr. Jacques Fortin (HEC Montréal) and Mr. Pierre Lasserre (UQAM-CIRANO).

Minister Marceau also indicated that the Québec Government will be able to announce the details of the new royalty regime in early spring.

The press release is available in French only: http://www.finances.gouv.qc.ca/documents/Communiques/fr/COMFR_20130208.pdf

Minister Marceau’s speech from the Strategic Forum on natural resources is available in French only: http://www.finances.gouv.qc.ca/documents/Communiques/fr/COMFR_Allocution20130208.pdf

This article was written by Ann Bigué and Dominique Quirk