Following on from the update we brought you on December 4, 2012 in regards to the proposed royalty changes on mining activity in the Quebec budget, the Premier of Québec, Pauline Marois, has offered further clarity on the Québec government's intentions.
In an interview with Bloomberg on Thursday December 13, Ms. Marois said that the Québec government will meet with mining companies in February or March to discuss the proposed raises in royalty taxes on mining.
In a move that will align the royalty regime with that of Australia, the governing party in Québec (Parti Québecois) planned a 5% mining royalty on the gross value of all mining output, and an additional 30% tax on 'super profits' from the extradition of non-renewable resources in their election manifesto.
However Ms. Marois has vowed to complete consultations with interested parties before announcing a specific increase, and also discussed the possibility of new measures aimed at encouraging companies to conduct more of their resource processing in Québec.
During the interview Ms. Marois recognized that although the royalties needed to be raised to help tackle Québec's debt, she does not want to harm the mining industry. In addition, Québec will go ahead with the previous government's 'Plan Nord' in exploiting a huge area of untapped potential in the north of the province - albeit with a different twist including an express commitment to the First Nations aboriginal interests and environmental protection.