Xplor 2019 is just around the corner
With fall at our door and vacation time – along with summer – coming to an end, our minds are now beginning to shift to all things business. And there is no better way to kick off this time of year than to be a part of the Québec Mineral Exploration Association’s (QMEA) annual convention, Xplor 2019! This exciting event is the perfect opportunity to catch up with all your colleagues and learn more about all the news happening in your industry.
Will you be at Xplor2019?
As we are all aware, the mining industry has always been characterized by its fluctuations, which are mainly associated with the value of metal and with global economic performances. However, the more recent decline in mining investments cannot be exclusively attributed to the sector’s current economic slowdown. Rather, the intense competition between different exploration companies for access to investments is one of the main challenges. Because exploration companies do not make production revenue, these investments are crucial to their ability to acquire new knowledge in the field. When investments drop, deposit discovery rates are reduced, as does the overall attractiveness of the sector.
Facing the challenges in mineral exploration is easiest when we have all the correct information to make the right decisions at the right times. Being front and center at the mining exploration event of the year is simply the best way to keep abreast of everything that is happening in our field: the opportunities, the trends and the stakes. As the 17th Century philosopher Thomas Hobbes wrote in his work Leviathan, ‘scientia potentia est’ or ‘knowledge is power’, and taking this opportunity to meet with your peers to share key information about our sector is the perfect way to stay on top of things, and to be able to make the soundest decisions precisely when they are required.
Staying connected and close to our sector is the best way to ensure that we are aware of the many changes and trends in mineral exploration.
Preparing for the future
The mining industry will be facing certain challenges within the next year, including the amended Environment Quality Act, the introduction of the Act respecting the conservation of wetlands and bodies of water, as well as the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife, and Parks’ strategy to protect caribou. The changes to the Mining Act must also be monitored to help us lighten the administrative tasks that will consume a great deal of our businesses’ energy and resources.
Due to their decisions or their management framework, the different levels of government have a significant influence on our sector; both its overall predictability and its future growth. Environmental authorizations in forestry, tax incentives, and the infrastructures to facilitate travel – especially in Northern territories – all help mineral exploration projects. However, the prohibitions and restrictions governing this activity, as well as the overlap of regulations, will decrease the money spent on exploration work that leads to profitable discoveries.
Given its specific characteristics – such as project life and development cycles, international scope, economic impacts on the entire community, and social and environmental impacts – the development of mineral resources in Québec will call upon a great number of government stakeholders (sustainable development, municipal affairs, Aboriginal affairs, economic development, etc…) that must work together, and do so effectively.
Innovation is the key
In order to improve on such things as the deposit discovery rate, the acquisition of new geoscientific knowledge, and personnel recruitment and retention, companies will need to further invest in innovation, and innovation must be set as a core priority for businesses and for government bodies at all levels that support research and development. The companies that are the most proactive and creative in facing these challenges will be the best prepared to draw the attention of investors.
Exploration in 2019 goes well beyond geology, and businesses in this sector must also meet significant technical challenges by innovating and adapting to the environment where their exploration projects are developed. The ability to achieve this will become their main strength in the coming years. Moving forward, managing all exploration-related challenges will allow innovative companies to stand out, as well as successfully complete their exploration projects.
Mineral exploration employment and its challenges
According to a study done by the QMEA, mining exploration companies have limited ability to change the industry in a way that will help them attract and retain employees. Mining exploration is a cyclical industry with its own set of instabilities, which are reflected in employment; workers must face market uncertainties, with no guarantee for long-term stability. These recruitment challenges are even more significant for full-time employment. The demanding working conditions and obligation to work in isolated regions, along with the strong competition for labour, will make an employer’s search even more difficult.
Given what we know, it is clear that the mineral exploration industry will need to remain united and to keep informed of all changes in laws and regulations that may directly impact our business activities.
Keeping a close eye on all the changes and the fluctuations in the mining industry – not to mention all related influencing factors, such as world economy, ruling markets, new technologies, government authorities, and new legislation that could potentially impact mineral exploration – is part and parcel of the QMEA’s mission. The organization is also driven by its goal to keep its members well informed and prepared for the future.
Attending Xplor, an essential part of your business strategy
Xplor is only weeks away! With a full program including a trade show; workshops and conferences, as well as the opportunity to learn about investment opportunities, grow your network and meet with your industry colleagues, this event is not one to be missed. Time is of the essence, so securing your spot at the convention and booking a room at the famed Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth should be a top priority if you haven’t done so yet.
About the QMEA
Founded in 1975 to increase mining exploration in Québec and support development of Québec’s mining entrepreneurship, QMEA now has 1,200 individual members (prospectors, geologists, geophysicists, brokers, tax experts, attorneys, etc.) and 200 corporate members (junior and major mining exploration companies, mining operation companies, engineering consulting firms in geology and geophysics, drilling companies, service companies, equipment suppliers, etc.).