Short of workers in several regions of Quebec, the mining industry may have found its golden seam with the hiring of women.
"We will have a great need for workers over the next few years and we believe that women have their place," says Falco Resources Vice President of Human Resources Claude Léveillée.
Currently, women represent only 17% of the workforce in the entire mining industry. In the production trades, this proportion drops to 4% in the country.
Resources Falco and its partner Osisko are planning a $ 1 billion gold, zinc, copper and silver mine project (called Horne 5) in Rouyn-Noranda.
Osisko believes that the Horne 5 project could come into being in 2019-2020 while 525 permanent positions will be created.
Further north, Osisko has another gold mine project called Windfall Lake. This $ 500 $ 500 project would create XNUMX permanent jobs and build a gold ore processing plant in Lebel-sur-Quévillon.
According to Mr. Léveillée, the mining companies have developed new drilling and production techniques that now allow women to integrate more easily into a workplace previously dominated by men.
It is not only women who are targeted by the mining industry, but Aboriginal communities are also being wooed.
On the North Shore, near Schefferville, Tata Steel Canada is hiring close to 150 Aboriginal workers, representing 25% of its workforce.
"Communities want to be consulted upstream of projects. There is a lot of potential spin-offs for Aboriginal people in Quebec with the mining industry, "said Ghislain Picard, leader of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador.
It must be said that several mining companies have already entered into agreements with the Innu, Naskapi, Inuit and Crees in the past.
These pacts include financial compensation, training and jobs for the community members in which the mine is operated.
To counter the labor shortage in Quebec, more and more mining companies intend to hire foreign workers.
In Abitibi, some mining companies could eventually turn to experienced workers from Mexico and Chile to meet their needs.
"This is an option that is being considered," says Falco Resources Vice President of Human Resources Claude Léveillée.
With more than 25 investment projects in promoters' boxes in Quebec, the mining industry will need a large number of workers to meet the demand.
"The labor needs will be significant. It is hoped that the administrative processes will be simpler for the mining companies, "said the president of the Quebec Mining Association, Josée Méthot.
Opening of Quebec
"We are open to that," says Quebec's Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Pierre Moreau, who believes that the labor needs to be filled will be immense in the mining sector over the coming years. coming years.
Minister Moreau says he has met in recent weeks with many mayors of cities and municipalities who have shown him a willingness to recruit workers abroad.
"People tell us. They are open to looking for outside workers, "he told the Journal.
Mr. Moreau plans to promote Quebec and its mining projects in the coming months abroad. Presentations are planned in Mexico, Toronto and New York.