Drilling work in your yard? Exasperated residents suffer the consequences of mining claims

Drilling in your yard? Exasperated residents suffer the consequences of the mining claims

and Maude Boutet MISE & Agrave; DAY

Unless you live in the middle of town, a mining company could become your neighbor overnight, or even search the basement of your property without your knowledge.  

In just a few minutes and for less than 100 dollars, anyone can buy a mining claim giving the exclusive right to search the basement of a piece of land, no matter who owns it.  < /p>

The J.E team met with residents from across Quebec as part of a report that will be presented Friday evening at 9:30 p.m.

She could see that the mining companies had almost all the rights when they landed in an area.

Drilling in your yard? Exasperated residents suffer the consequences mining claims

Drilling in your yard? exasperated residents suffer the consequences of mining claims

No permit is required to drill. You don't even need to inform the Municipality, let alone the surrounding residents.

It only takes one landowner to agree to exploration activities for the entire neighborhood to be disturbed.

Surprise arrival

François Hays, resident of Duhamel (Outaouais), received us in the log cabin built by his great-grandfather in the 1930s on the shores of Lac Doré. British Columbia-based mining company Lomiko Metals undertook exploration work near his home in 2015. the following weeks we discovered that it was a generator and when I realized that they were drilling, that's when I panicked!” 

François Hays, from Duhamel (Outaouais), has seen its tranquility disturbed for eight years because of exploration activities.

Exploration work is still continuing, eight years later. Lomiko Metals covets graphite, necessary in the production of electric batteries.

It was François Hays who announced the arrival of the mine at the town hall, who was not aware of the presence of the company in its territory.  

Paying to protect yourself

On the shores of Lac Viceroy, in the Outaouais, the residents took drastic measures: they bought the ten claims surrounding the lake to protect their sector and avoid seeing a mining company land in search of graphite there too. 

Protection that is worth the cost, according to Jean Daoust, president of the association of residents of Lac Viceroy. However, he acknowledged that their strategy had its limits.  

“It is certain that this kind of process would be difficult to trigger on very large lakes”, says Mr. Daoust.   

Aerial photos taken by our team in Saint-Michel-des-Saints show how mining exploration requires a lot of equipment.

The acquisition of mining titles has exploded over the past two years. “In some areas like the Outaouais it has tripled. Lanaudière, it has quadrupled!” noted Ugo Lapointe, co-founder and spokesperson for the coalition Pour que le Québec a mieux mine, an organization that campaigns for better practices in the mining sector.

The situation worries the Union of Quebec Municipalities (UMQ), which held a forum on the integration of mining activities at the end of January.  

Revision mining law?

The elected municipal officials adopted the Declaration for the harmonious integration of mining activities in the territories. 

We are asking the government in particular to withdraw the article 246 of the Act respecting land use planning and development, which allows the Mining Act to have the upper hand when it comes to preventing or not mining development in a territory.  

It has been possible to designate a territory as incompatible with mining activity (TIAM) since 2014. But the criteria would be too restrictive. The UMQ is therefore asking that they be revised. 

To which the Minister of Natural Resources, Maïté Blanchette Vézina, replies that her officials will review the mining regime. 

< p style="text-align:right;">—With Charles Mathieu

Drilling in your yard? Exasperated residents suffer the consequences mining claims

Drilling in your yard? exasperated residents suffer the consequences of mining claims

What is a mining claim?

  • A mining claim allows you to explore a territory to possibly find minerals of interest.
  • A claim covering approximately half a square kilometer of territory costs less than $100 and can be purchased on the government website.
  • The right is valid for a period of two years. The claim holder must carry out exploration work, otherwise his mining title will be revoked.
  • The claim holder must obtain written authorization from the owner of the land to carry out exploration work there.

And at home? 

Browse the interactive map of mining claims registered in Quebec.

Origin of the claim

Quebec Canada International


Source : GESTIM, the mining title management system of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests. Data extracted February 6, 2023.

Our Bureau of Investigation analyzed all claim holders in Quebec, who held 281 243 active claims as of February 6, 2023. These represent 14.5M hectares of explorable territory. The nationality was determined according to the head office, the address of the main shareholder and the addresses present on GESTIM.

Several companies can jointly hold the same claim. We have calculated the number of titles and the area held by each owner in proportion to the rights they hold on each claim.

In the map, the color used represents the nationality of the owner who holds the largest part of the claim. In case of equal separation of the claim, a mixture of colors is used.



Journalists and data compilation : Charles Mathieu, Philippe Langlois

Design : David Lambert

Web integration and data visualization&nbsp ;: Cécilia Defer

Editorial Creative Director: Charles Trahan