Exploration spending is down across the board, but budgets for gold exploration have suffered less than other metals. And in two particular regions of Quebec – the established Abitibi gold belt and the emerging James Bay region – exploration drills are busily biting the rock.
The latest map of exploration drilling in Canada resembles a nighttime satellite image of the country: vast expanses of monochrome punctuated by clusters of brightness. If the clusters represented urban areas, the Abitibi greenstone belt straddling the Quebec-Ontario border would be a bustling metropolis and the James Bay region a small but growing municipality.
Despite a global slowdown in exploration spending that S&P Global Market Intelligence expects to continue into 2017, pockets of Quebec could be on the cusp of an upswing. The province’s share of Canadian drilling activity averaged about 30 per cent in the first nine months of 2016, reaching almost 40 per cent in August, according to analysis by S&P Global. Continue Reading →