Subscribe to our mailing list to be on the lookout for our latest news.


Decarbonization : should mining be a model?





By Jean-Yves Poitras, Industrial Commissioner

I recently attended the launch of a new piece of electrical equipment designed specifically for mining, and was also inspired by an article by Maxime Guilbaut in Les Affaires on July 20.

Why mining needs to reinvent itself (2) (in FRENCH)

I’d like to share with you my thoughts on the mining industry as a vector of change towards an organized energy transition.

Mining companies, suppliers of conventional and critical minerals, are taking the decarbonization step and including it in their strategic development plans. They are aware that putting an end to dependence on fossil fuels will be a long-term process, and that this transition will require patience and determination.

Green electricity, batteries and hydrogen are the energies of the moment in Quebec. To date, the solutions for moving away from carbon are both embryonic and costly. They are part of an elaborate transition process that must maintain the imperative of operational profitability and worker safety.


The equipment is still being developed. It still requires a lot of fine-tuning. Technologically speaking, not everything is black and white. The move away from fossil fuels will not be instantaneous. It will require a long process of trial and error, just like the development of combustion engines. This energy migration raises new challenges in terms of equipment maintenance, identifying operational risks, and preventing and managing accidents and incidents. These new challenges are critical for mine operators.

The mining industry is the best change vector for the energy transition. A fine example of Eldorado Gold Québec  HERE (in FRENCH)

Historically, the industry has taken a measured approach to the benefits and risks of change on the move. It doesn’t move forward unprepared.

The mining industry works as a collegial body, and has already identified the strengths and weaknesses of the new energy models, and is working to implement the change with a focus on performance and optimization.

Change will not only be mechanical, it will also be human. The new generation of mining workers will be very much oriented towards the technological aspect of change. They will be technical and technological, cosmopolitan, unisex and specialized. Talent will take precedence over physical ability.

Today, the challenge lies not only in finding talent, but also in identifying it within the company and putting in place elaborate training programs aimed at creating new-generation expertise. The industry can no longer just hire, it must also nurture talented individuals. With a proactive approach, it will improve its attractiveness and the quality of its human capital.

The mining industry is a major input to the energy transition. It is also a vector for change towards one or more optimal energy models.