Canada: ​C$1-Billion Committed To Development Of Quebec's Mining, Hydrocarbon Industries

The Quebec government has recently announced that the Capital Mines Hydrocarbon fund (CMH Fund), the purpose of which is to acquire equity interests in mining and hydrocarbon projects in Quebec, is officially in effect. The creation of the CMH Fund was initially put forward in connection with the 2012–2013 budget by the Quebec government as part of its plan to develop the northern region of Quebec.  

The Quebec government first launched its sustainable development project for the North in 2011. The project contemplated public and private investments of C$80-billion over 25 years and was touted to become one of the largest economic, environmental and social projects in Quebec's history (Plan Nord). Plan Nord was presented as a long-term program aimed at developing Quebec's territory located north of the 49th parallel and north of the St. Lawrence River, covering roughly 1.2 million km2, which comprises nearly 72 per cent of the territory of Quebec. In addition to having one of the largest freshwater reserves in the world, the Plan Nord territory is particularly rich in minerals such as nickel, apatite, cobalt, lithium, vanadium, diamonds, graphite, platinum group minerals, zinc, iron ore and gold. However, after the election of a new minority government in September 2012, the implementation of Plan Nord was first suspended and then revised.


On April 8, 2015, the Quebec government reaffirmed its will to engage in the development of northern Quebec under a reconfigured Plan Nord that seeks to better reflect current economic realities, as well as a heightened sensitivity to social and environmental impacts. According to the government, this remodeled Plan Nord promises to generate investments of C$22-billion over five years and is expected to create nearly 10,000 new jobs in the province. It also provides for public and private investment of C$50-billion over a period of 20 years, of which C$22-billion will be public funds provided by Hydro-Québec and the government, with the remaining C$28-billion expected to come from private investments.

Moreover, the government has recently reiterated its vision to support and stimulate economic development, namely by:

  • ​Granting a general certificate of authorization to Nemaska Lithium for the development and operation of a significant spodumene deposit (for lithium processing) in Nemaska, near Chibougamau
  • Making a significant investment in a diamond project in James Bay (Stornoway Renard Diamond Mine)


On November 7, 2014, the Quebec government announced its intention to implement a new energy policy in Quebec. Following this announcement, a public consultation period was held between February 6, 2015 and July 15, 2015, in order to highlight the key energy challenges that Quebec is facing. According to the government, its new energy policy, which will be presented this fall, will enable Quebec to responsibly develop all of its resources and its shared energy heritage, among other things. 

Although the current state of knowledge makes it difficult to accurately assess the amount of exploitable hydrocarbons in Quebec's subsoil, the theoretical potential could be significant. For instance, the sedimentary basins of southern Quebec or the St. Lawrence Gulf territory (especially the Old Harry Site), the Gaspé and Anticosti Island all appear to have important oil and/or gas potential, including shale gas. 

In recent years, the Quebec government has granted several exploration licences as well as petroleum production test licences in the Gaspé and on Anticosti Island. In September 2015, Ressources Québec, a subsidiary of Investissement Québec, confirmed its intention to make an equity investment of C$3.8-million in Pétrolia, an oil and gas exploration company, as part of its Bourque Project in the Gaspé, bringing its shareholdings in Pétrolia to just below 20 per cent. In July 2015, Ressources Québec also invested nearly C$5-million in order to finance the operation of the Galt Property in the Gaspé being developed by Junex. Further, in August of this year, the Quebec government approved the construction and operation by Stolt LNGaz of a natural gas liquefaction plant in Bécancour, representing an investment of approximately C$800-million. 


According to the Quebec government, the CMH Fund comes into effect as part of the relaunch of Plan Nord and is indicative of the government's support for mining activities, namely through the expansion of export credits and the postponing of the planned increase for the cost of mining claims. 


The main purpose of the CMH Fund, managed by Ressources Québec, is to acquire equity interests on behalf of the Quebec government in companies that extract mineral substances in Quebec.

Available Capitalization 

The government has allocated C$1-billion to the CMH Fund, of which C$500-million will be allocated to projects located north of the 49th parallel, while the other C$500-million will be for projects undertaken throughout the province. A maximum of C$800-million will be exclusively reserved for mining projects, C$200-million of which is intended for pre-feasibility and feasibility studies, and a minimum of C$200-million will be exclusively reserved for hydrocarbon projects.


In order to qualify for funding by the CMH Fund, a project must have a minimum value of C$5-million and be located in Quebec. In the mining sector, a preliminary economic evaluation in accordance with the standards in force in Quebec must have been performed on the project. Once this threshold requirement has been fulfilled, the following projects are eligible:

  • ​Development work at the process stage where mineral resources are indicated and measured
  • Pre-feasibility studies consisting of a comprehensive analysis of the viability of a mining project, which is at the stage where the method of extraction or configuration of the mine has been established, an effective method for treating the ore has been determined, and a financial analysis is being carried out based on reasonable assumptions regarding technical components, engineering data, operational aspects and legal, economic, social and environmental factors
  • Feasibility studies that have a comprehensive analysis of a deposit in which all relevant factors, including geological factors and the other factors mentioned above are reviewed in order to assess the investment required for mining production
  • Preparation and development work for a mining complex
  • Primary transformation or extractive metallurgy work carried out by a company in Quebec, provided that the mineral substances (as defined in the Mining Act) being processed were first mined by the same company or an affiliated company

Hydrocarbon projects eligible for funding by the CMH Fund include pre-discovery and post-discovery works allowing for the determination of potential hydrocarbon targets, the defining of petrophysical, petrochemical and geomechanical parameters, the drilling of exploratory wells, the conducting of extraction tests or the defining of the structure of a deposit. In particular, the following work is eligible:

  • ​The economic evaluation of deposits, consisting of a comprehensive study of a deposit through a sufficiently detailed analysis of its geological features and of engineering and economic factors in order to reasonably demonstrate the presence of substances that are exploitable in an economically profitable manner
  • The development and planning of a deposit with the view to obtaining an operating lease, comprising of a comprehensive study of the viability of an oil or gas project that is at the stage where the extraction and deployment method has been determined and where the availability of recoverable reserves has been confirmed

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Events from this Firm
1 Nov 2016, Seminar, Toronto, Canada

What is the emotional culture of your organization?

Every organization and workplace has an emotional culture that can have an impact on everything from employee performance to customer or client satisfaction.

3 Nov 2016, Seminar, Toronto, Canada

Join leading lawyers from the Blakes Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation group as they discuss recent updates and legal developments in pension and employee benefits law as well as strategies to identify and minimize common risks.

3 Nov 2016, Other, Vancouver, Canada

“Risk” is the new black. It’s on the lips of every CEO, CFO, GC and board member — as it should be. Can you spot it? How do you analyze it? Are you equipped to manage it?

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.