Quebec Gold Mines
The historic gold mining industry in Quebec goes back to Jacques Cartier, who in the 1500s initially thought he discovered gold and diamonds on Cap Diamant mountain. However, when he arrived in France, he found what he had discovered were pyrite and quartz. After that, major gold mining in Quebec did not begin until the mid-1800s when certain discoveries were made in southern Quebec.
Today, Quebec is the second-largest gold producer in Canada. In 2018, Quebec produced 33.7 percent of all the gold in Canada. The amount produced was 2.16 million ounces or 61.7 million grams. It’s clear the mining industry plays an important role in Quebec’s economy. The province recognizes this and provides a mining-friendly jurisdiction, including tax incentives and government-sponsored economic programs such as “Plan Nord.” As one can imagine, some of the largest gold mining companies in the world have gold mines in Quebec. Here’s a list of the noteworthy companies that have either gold mines or exploration and development projects in Quebec.
Public Gold Mining Companies in Quebec
- Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM)
- Eastmain Resources (OTCQB:EANRF)
- Eldorado Gold (EGO)
- Galway Metals (OTC:GAYMF)
- Hecla Mining (HL)
- IAM Gold (IAG)
- Maple Gold Mines (OTCQB:MGMLF)
- Midland Exploration (OTC:MIDLF)
- Newmont Gold (NEM)
- Probe Metals (OTCQB:PROBF)
- Radisson Mining (OTC:RMRDF)
- Troilus Gold (OTCQB:CHXMF)
- Wallbridge Mining (OTCPK:WLBMF)
- Wesdome Gold (OTCPK:WDOFF)
- Yamana Gold (AUY)
Agnico Eagle Mines
Agnico Eagle Mines is the owner of three producing gold mines and exploring three properties in the province of Quebec, Canada. Currently, Agnico Eagle Mines is the largest gold producer in Quebec.
Canadian Malartic is an open-pit and, according to Agnico, the largest currently operating gold mine in Canada, although its own LaRonde mine produced more gold in 2019. Commercial production began in 2011 and was acquired in a 50/50 joint venture partnership between Agnico Eagle and Yamana Gold. In 2019, the mine produced 331,459 ounces of gold at a production cost (AISC) of $811 per ounce.
The mine currently has six years of mine life remaining with proven and probable reserves of 2.39 million ounces along with measured and indicated of .85 million ounces.
Goldex is an underground mine that began commercial production in October of 2013. In 2019, the mine produced 140,884 ounces of gold at an all-in sustaining cost of $769 per ounce.
The mine has proven and probable reserves of 1.09 million ounces with a mine life of 7 years. The company continues to explore, focusing on the MMx, Deep 2, and South zones in 2020.
La Ronde is another underground mine operated by Agnico Eagle. In 2019, the mine produced 343,154 ounces at an AISC of $845 per ounce.
Currently, the mine has proven and probable reserves of 2.89 million ounces with a 9-year mine life.
The company is in the process of converting inferred mineral resources to indicated mineral resources through its exploration programs at La Ronde.
La Ronde 5
La Ronde 5 is also an underground mine. In 2019, the mine produced 59,830 ounces of gold at an AISC of $910 per ounce.
The mine currently has a 7-year mine life with proven and probable reserves of .69 million ounces of gold.
In 2020, the exploration program for this mine is focused on expanding mineral reserves and resources at depth and looking at other satellite zones. One of those zones is the exploration target called the Ellison zone.
Agnico Eagle has a 54/46 joint venture with Probe Metals on the Dubuisson property, which lies adjacent to the Goldex mine property.
Total Agnico Eagle Production from Quebec
In total Agnico Eagle produced 875,327 gold ounces from Quebec and has proven and probable reserves of over 7 million gold ounces. Agnico Eagle currently trades with a market cap of around $20 billion.
Source: Agnico Eagle presentation
Eastmain Resources was recently acquired by Auryn Resources to form a Canadian-focused company called Fury Gold Mines.
Eastmain held three Quebec exploration assets in the Eau Claire, Eastmain Mine, and Eleonore South Joint Venture.
Eastmain currently trades with a market cap of $242 million, until the merger is complete.
The company’s primary exploration project is Eau Claire. The company completed a PEA in May 2018 and a NI 43-101 mineral resource estimate in February of 2018.
Based on the resource estimate, the measured and indicated resource was .86 million gold ounces and .5 million inferred ounces.
Based on the PEA, the project creates an NPV of $397 million, with gold prices at $1,500. With gold prices at $1,934, I project the NPV to be $669 million.
Source: Eastmain presentation
The Eastmain Mine is located 320 km northeast of Chibougamau, Quebec. The mine is currently optioned to Benz Mining Inc.
The Eastmain Mine has indicated and inferred gold resources of .38 million ounces of gold, 4.6 million pounds of copper, and .4 million ounces of silver.
Eleonore South Joint Venture
Eleonore South is a 37/37/26 joint venture between Newmont Gold and Azimut Exploration. The property is adjacent to the southeast border of Newmont’s Eleonore property. The property is in the early exploration stages. Here’s a semi-recent press release sharing drill results on the project.
Eldorado Gold owns the Lamaque underground mine in Val-d’Or, Quebec, where commercial production began in March 2019.
In 2020, the company expects to produce 130,000 ounces of gold compared to 113,940 ounces in 2019. In 2019, the company had an AISC of $1,078 per ounce. In 2020, the company projects an AISC of about $900 per ounce, with cost per ounce coming down as production increases.
Before the mine began operations, the company made the following projections in March of 2018. So far, I think the project has exceeded expectations given that gold currently trades above $1,900 per ounce and this analysis was completed using $1,300 per ounce gold.
Source: Eldorado website
Galway Metals owns the Estrades mine located in western Quebec about 95 km north of La Sarre. The Estrades mine is located adjacent to Hecla Mining’s Casa Berardi mine. The mine is expected to produce gold, silver, zinc, lead, copper, and antimony.
The claims contain measured and indicated resources of 170 thousand and 136 thousand of inferred resources. This project is still in the early stages, so there isn’t very much information yet available.
Source: Galway Metals presentation
Galway currently trades with a market cap of about $130 million. They have seen some exciting results from their Clarence Stream prospect in New Brunswick, which has been jet fuel for the stock over the past 3 to 4 months.
Hecla Mining is the 100 percent owner of the Casa Berardi mine near La Sarre, Quebec. Operations first commenced in 1988, and between then and 2006 spent some years on care and maintenance. In 2006, operations continued, and since 1988, the mine has produced 1.9 million gold ounces. Hecla Mining acquired the mine in 2013.
In 2019, the mine produced 134,409 ounces of gold at an AISC after by-product credits of $1,354 per ounce. In 2020, the company expects to produce 135,000 ounces in 2019 with an AISC with by-product credits of roughly $1,200 per gold ounce.
As of December 31, 2019, the mine has proven and probable reserves of 1.7 million ounces of gold. The mine also has about 1 million measured and indicated resources with another 1 million inferred resources.
Here is a snapshot of Casa Berardi’s performance through Q2 from the company’s latest presentation.
Source: Hecla Mining presentation
Hecla currently trades with a market cap of about $3.2 billion.
IAMGold owns the operating underground gold mine called the Westwood mine. It is IAMGold’s only underground mine. In 2019, the company took a $395 million impairment on the mine due to decreased expected productivity due to increased seismic activity at the mine.
Despite the impairment, the company completed an updated resource and life-of-mine report for Westwood in Q2 2020. The results showed that the mine had proven and probable reserves remaining of 1.1 million ounces. In addition, the operation had measured and indicated and inferred of an additional 1.9 million ounces. The company expects the Westwood mine to produce through 2033 and potentially beyond.
In 2020, the company expects the mine to produce 100,000 ounces with an AISC of roughly $1,150 per ounce. In 2019, the mine produced 91,000 ounces of gold at an AISC of $1,079 per ounce. Below is a snapshot of the mine’s performance thus far in 2020.
Source: IAMGold Q2 presentation
IAMGold currently trades with a market cap of $2 billion.
Maple Gold Mines
Maple Gold Mines is a mini-cap company with an exciting prospect in the Douay Project. The Douay Project is located in southwest Quebec 2.5 hours north of Val d’Or. The mine is located on the same geological boundary as the Casa Berardi and Vezza deposits, which makes the company optimistic.
Based on a report completed in late 2019, the Douay has indicated mineral resources of .422 million ounces and inferred mineral resources of 2.352 million ounces.
To date, the company has primarily focused on exploring brownfield targets but plans to begin focusing on more greenfield targets. With a land package of 350 square kilometers, they have plenty of greenfield work ahead of them. The company hopes to bring on a strategic partner in the near term to help accelerate the pace of exploration and to bring it to the operational finish line.
The company currently trades with a market cap of $33 million.
Midland Exploration is an exciting company that focuses on exploration in Quebec. Once a discovery is made, they prefer to partner with a larger company to bring the project along the development timeline.
They have too many projects to name, so I will simply list the ones with partners. Currently, the company has 20 projects listed on their website. These projects are all early in the exploration phase with limited information.
- Eleonore – JV with Osisko
- Casault – Wallbridge
- La Peltrie – Probe Metals
- Maritime Cadillac – JV Agnico Eagle
Midland Exploration trades with a market cap of $53 million.
Newmont Gold is one of the largest gold producers in the world. It happens to own the Eleonore underground gold mine in Quebec. The mine first reached commercial production in April 2015.
As of Q2 2020, The Eleonore mine expects production of 190,000 ounces with an AISC of $1,350 per ounce in 2020. In 2019, the mine produced 246,000 ounces at an AISC of $1,013 per ounce. The mine’s production will be lower and AISC higher in 2020 due to being placed on care and maintenance for a period of time during the COVID crisis.
At the end of 2019, the Eleonore mine had 1.28 million ounces of proven and probable reserves. It also had .41 million and .58 million of measured and indicated resources and inferred resources, respectively.
Source: Newmont Gold Presentation
Newmont Gold currently trades with a market cap of about $53 billion.
Probe Metals is a small company with some exciting prospects in close proximity to several larger companies’ existing mines. Probe Metals currently trades with a market cap of $145 million.
Source: Company website
The Val-d’Or East Project is located 25 km east of Val-d’Or in Quebec. The mining claims total more than 7,000 hectares of land. The project is located relatively close to the Goldex Mine owned by Agnico Eagle.
The project currently has measured and indicated resources of .87 million and inferred resources of 2.39 million ounces. This looks like an exciting project and one to keep an eye on as exploration continues. Nothing makes that more apparent than the image below taken from Probe Metal’s company presentation.
Source: Probe Metals presentation
As of April of this year, Probe Metals acquired a remaining 25 percent interest from SOQUEM Inc., which made their ownership in the project 100 percent. In addition, Probe Metals signed an option agreement with Midland Exploration for its La Peltrie Property, which runs contiguous to the Detour property.
The Detour Property is made up of several sections. The Detour East block is just 5 km south of the Fenelon gold deposit that is held by Wallbridge Mining. The Detour North block is 15 km from the Detour Lake project in Ontario and is along the famous Sunday Lake Deformation Zone.
In total, the Detour project is over 40,000 hectares in size and all located along the well-known Sunday Lake Deformation Zone. This project is early in the exploration phase, but it is certainly one to watch. The image below puts it in a better context relative to Wallbridge Mining and Kirkland Lake’s properties.
Source: Probe Metals presentation
The Casa-Cameron Project is early in the exploration phase but lies along the Casa-Berardi Cameron Gold Trend not far from Hecla Mining’s Casa-Berardi gold mine. The project is made up of 17,094 hectares.
This is the project previously mentioned where a joint venture agreement was signed in July 2010 with Agnico Eagle Mines. The property lies directly adjacent to Agnico Eagle’s Goldex mine. The property covers about 750 hectares.
Radisson Mining’s primary project in Quebec is the O’Brien Project. The project is located in the Northwest part of the province in the Abitibi region. The project was a past-producing mine from 1926 to 1957 when it produced 587 thousand ounces at a grade of 15.25 g/t. The project is located next to Agnico Eagle’s LaRonde Mines and the IAMGold’s Westwood mine.
At a cutoff grade of 3 g/t, the project has an indicated resource of 408,000 ounces and an inferred resource of 255,000 ounces.
Recently, Radisson Mining acquired the New Alger Project from Renforth Resources. The New Alger Project was adjacent to the O’Brien Project and brought the total land package to 5,840 hectares of land.
Radisson Mining currently trades with a market cap of $32 million.
The Troilus Gold Project is a past-producing gold mine that produced 2 million ounces of gold and 70,000 tonnes of copper since production began in 1996 and ended in 2010. The mine shut down due to management’s belief that the mine had been fully exploited. The project is located in the Frotet-Evans Greenstone belt, which the company claims has been underexplored but holds promising potential. The project’s land package grew to 107 thousand hectares in 2020 from 16 thousand hectares.
Source: Troilus Gold website
Because of the previously operating mine, the project has excellent infrastructure and existing permits.
As of July 2020, the company had an updated resource estimate of 4.96 million indicated ounces and 3.15 million inferred ounces at a grade of .75 g/t. The following chart demonstrates how Troilus has been aggressively growing its mineral resources each year.
Source: Troilus Gold presentation
Troilus Gold currently trades with a market cap of $123 million.
Wallbridge Mining is a small company with an incredible prospect along the Sunday Lake Deformation Zone. There are multiple projects within the property, but the two primary ones at the moment are the Fenelon and Martiniere projects. The property extends east to west and begins where Kirkland Lake’s Detour Lake property ends along the Ontario-Quebec border. To the south, Probe Metals has accumulated a significant land package. Wallbridge has one of the most talked-about prospects in the industry at the moment.
Source: Wallbridge website
The total land package for the project is over 900 square kilometers. The company has shareholders such as Eric Sprott, Kirkland Lake Gold, and William Day Construction.
According to the timeline below, the company is years away from production, but when that day comes, they should be a significant player in the Quebec gold mining space. With the company expecting its maiden mineral resource sometime in 2021, this should be an exciting one to watch.
Source: Wallbridge presentation
Wallbridge Mining currently trades with a market cap of $528 million.
Wesdome Gold is the owner of the Kiena Complex in Quebec. The Kiena land package covers just over 7,000 hectares.
The Kiena Complex is an existing 2,000 TPD permitted mill that has been on care and maintenance since 2013. From 1981 to 2013, 1.75 million ounces of gold were produced. The mine was placed on care and maintenance due to a lack of developed reserves.
In May of 2020, the company completed a PEA and received encouraging results. Here’s an image from Wesdome’s presentation that shares the highlights. The company will need to invest initial capital of 36 million along with sustaining capital of 122 million during the project.
The Kiena Project has indicated ounces of .79 million and inferred ounces of .80 million ounces. Wesdome currently trades with a market cap of $1.5 billion.
Yamana Gold has a 50/50 joint venture with Agnico Eagle Mines on the Canadian Malartic project. See the section under Agnico Eagle Mines for more information on this gold mine.
Honorable Mention Quebec Gold Companies with Projects
- Amex Exploration (OTCQX:AMXEF)
- Azimut Exploration (OTC:AZMTF)
- Delta Resources (OTCPK:GOLHF)
- Ethos Gold (OTCQB:ETHOF)
- Generic Gold (OTCPK:GGCPF)
- Goliath Resources (OTCQB:GOTRF)
- Harfang Exploration (TSX:HAR)
- Meridius Resources (TSX:MRI)
- Northern Superior Resources (OTCQB:NSUPF)
- QcX Gold (OTC:FMGXF)
- QPM Corp. (TSX:QPM)
- Renforth Resources (OTCPK:RFHRF)
- Starr Peak (OTCPK:STRPF)
- Urban Gold Minerals (TSX.V:UGM)
- X-Terra Resources (OTC:XTRRF)
Full List of Quebec Gold Mines and Projects
- Agnico Eagle Mines – Goldex and Canadian Malartic producing and exploring Ellison, Kirkland Lake, and Dubuisson.
- Amex Exploration – Perron, Label-sur-Quevillon, and Eastmain River
- Azimut Exploration – Multiple projects near James Bay in the Eleonore Gold Camp
- Benz Mining – Option on Eastmain Mine
- Delta Resources – Bellechasse-Timmins
- Eastmain Resources – Merged to form Fury Gold. Owns Eau Claire, Eleonore South, and Eastmain
- Eldorado Gold – Lamaque
- Ethos Gold – Schefferville Gold
- Galway Metals – Estrades
- Generic Gold – Belvais
- Goliath Resources – Chibougamau-Chapais
- Harfang – Lack Nenarik
- Hecla Mining – Casa Berardi
- IAM Gold – West Wood, Nelligan, and Monster Lake
- Maple Gold Mines – Douay
- Meridius Resources – King Tut
- Midland Exploration – Various joint ventures and option agreements
- Newmont – Eleonore
- Northern Superior Resources – Various properties
- QcX Gold – Golden Giant and Fernet
- QPM Corp – Sakami Gold
- Probe Metals – Val-d’Or East and Detour
- Radisson Mining – O’Brien
- Renforth Resources – Parbec
- Starr Peak – NewMetal
- Troilus Gold – Troilus
- Urban Gold Minerals – Various projects
- Wallbridge Mining – Fenelon, Martiniere, and Others
- Wesdome – Eagle and Kiena
- X-Terra Resources – Troilus East and Ducran
- Yamana Gold – Canadian Malartic
2020 Resources and Reserves – Quebec Gold Mines
Source: Created by the author
Table of 2020 Resources and Reserves
|Mine – Company||Reserves|
|Troilus – Troilus – c||8.11|
|Casa Berardi – Hecla Mining – a, b, & c||3.70|
|Val-d’Or East – Probe Metals – b & c||3.26|
|LaRonde – Agnico Eagle – a||2.89|
|Douay – Maple Gold Mines – c||2.70|
|Eleonore – Newmont – a, b, & c||2.27|
|Canadian Malartic – Agnico Eagle/Yamana – a||2.04|
|Estrades – Galway Metals – b & c||1.80|
|Kiena – Wesdome – c||1.59|
|Eau Claire – Eastmain – c||1.36|
|Goldex – Agnico Eagle – a||1.09|
|Lamaque – Eldorado Gold – a||0.97|
|LaRonde Zone 5 – Agnico Eagle – a||0.69|
|O’Brien – Radisson – c||0.66|
|Eastmain – Eastmain – c||0.38|
Source: Compiled by the author
a – proven and probable
b – measured and indicated
c – indicated and inferred
Quebec Gold Mines 2019 Production
Source: Created by the author
|Mine – Company||Gold Ounces|
|LaRonde – Agnico Eagle||343,154|
|Canadian Malartic – Agnico Eagle/Yamana||331,459|
|Eleonore – Newmont||246,000|
|Goldex – Agnico Eagle||140,884|
|Casa Berardi – Hecla Mining||134,409|
|Lamaque – Eldorado Gold||113,940|
|LaRonde Zone 5 – Agnico Eagle||59,830|
Source: Compiled by the author
Quebec Gold Mines 2019 AISC per Ounce
Source: Created by the author
2019 AISC per Ounce Table
|Mine – Company||AISC per Ounce|
|Goldex – Agnico Eagle||$769|
|Canadian Malartic – Agnico Eagle/Yamana||$811|
|LaRonde – Agnico Eagle||$845|
|LaRonde Zone 5 – Agnico Eagle||$910|
|Eleonore – Newmont||$1,013|
|Lamaque – Eldorado Gold||$1,078|
|Casa Berardi – Hecla Mining||$1,354|
Source: Created by the author
Quebec Gold Mines Conclusion
Quebec is an incredible region of the world for gold investors. If you don’t have some of your gold investments located in Quebec, then you should reconsider. This article alone should help any investor narrow down their search.
There are several companies on this list that are worthy investments. If indeed, we are in a new gold bull market, then most of these should do well. However, there were a couple of opportunities that stood out to me.
First, I think Probe Metals is probably worth looking into further. As I shared, their property is directly south of Wallbridge Mining’s property and directly east of Kirkland Lake’s Detour Lake property. Their land package is comparable to both of these companies, and yet Wallbridge trades with a market cap of $500 million while Probe Metals trades with a market cap of $150 million. In addition, Probe Metals has the Val-d’Or project that has a resource of over 3 million gold ounces. Probe Metals seems like one to watch.
If I like Probe Metals, then perhaps I should also like Wallbridge Mining. I do think Wallbridge has a bright future as well. I just know that the company has had people like Eric Sprott pumping the stock, which may be part of the reason for the significant discrepancy in value between Wallbridge and Probe Metals. With neither company having resource estimates on their property, it’s difficult to differentiate between the two without digging into their drill results, which isn’t my specialty.
My second pick is more speculative but perhaps not more than Probe Metals. Troilus Gold may be a company worth taking a long-term gamble on. The way that they have grown their resources the past few years is impressive. And the fact that they increased their land package by greater than six times in 2020 tells me they believe they have something more significant than previously thought. In addition, there’s something nice about a company exploring where everyone else is, like Probe Metals. However, there is also something nice about Troilus looking for gold in areas where others aren’t looking as extensively. That said, one of the positives of the Troilus project is the fact that it is on an existing mine site with infrastructure and permits.
Just briefly, I think Fury Gold Mines will be interesting to look at once Eastmain and Auryn Resources combine their Canadian forces. And I also believe Maple Gold mines presents a long-term value for a patient investor as they seek out a partner to advance their Douay project.
This wraps up this summary of gold mines in Quebec. If I’ve excluded any, please let me know in the comments section.
Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
Additional disclosure: The author of this article is not a Registered Investment Advisor or Financial Planner. This writing is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an offer to sell, a solicitation to buy, or a recommendation regarding any securities transaction. The information contained in this writing should not be construed as financial or investment advice on any subject matter. The author of this article expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken based on any or all of the information on this writing.