By Charles Kubach, Mine-Engineer.Com
May 31, 2011
The hotest topic of conversation at the recent Canadian Institute of Mining conference in Montreal, Quebec was Plan Nord. While it may sound like some secret government operation, it is really a plan to boost the Candian presence in mineral production, and the economy of Canada. Plan Nord, as it is called, will be perhaps the largest single mining development in Canada's recent history. It envisions over 11 new mines and a capital investment of over $80,000,000,000 (CDN). The benefits to the Canadian people include over $14,000,000,000 in royalties to the government treasury, producing over 20,000 new high paying jobs per year, billions of dollars in income tax revenue per year, and vastly improve the quality of life for the citizens of the area and country.
The reqion, Nord du Quebec, is comprised of 839,000 square kilometers of Quebec and encompases about 55% of the land mass of Quebec Province. Valuable minerals in abundance include base metals, such as iron ore, zinc and nickel. It also has deposits of lithium, a rare earth metal and other rare earth metals, viable in the high tech and battery manufacturing industry. There is also a significant potential for gold, uranium and diamonds in the area.
In addition to the enormous mining venture, the plan proposes numerous hydro-electric plants, which will sell the excess electricity to US areas in the northeast and create a huge environmental preserve to include the giant forest region, saturated with trees and blessed with large amounts of fresh water.
About the only drawback is the complete lack of infrastructure in the area, including roads, rail, and housing facilities for the new workers on the project. However, given the tremendous potential of the region, this can be overcome by investment in infrastructure and facilities. It is perhaps one of the best ideas to come out of Canada since the Maple Leaf.
To calm fears of the radical environmentalists, the government will introduce tax credits for the companies, to minimize environmental impact on the region. And as all good capitalists know, when given an incentive to do so, companies to take advantage of the opportunity, realizing it is in their best long term interest and profitability.
Meanwhile back in the USA, the Obama administration continues to punish the mining industry, by offering punitive rules, regulations and harassment. Some people know how to run a country, and some simply do not have a clue.
"The Sign of an intelligent person is not the realization of all they know,
but rather the realization of all they do not know."
Charles Kubach 1979
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