The Quebec Government has launched ‘Plan Nord’ to develop its frozen northern reaches into a powerhouse of mining and renewable energy.

The 25-year plan covers about 1.2 million km#&179 and will require an investment of C$80bn (US$83bn) from private and public sectors in Quebec.

Quebec hopes for an investment of C$33bn (US$34bn) for mining and infrastructure, and will amend its mining regulations to ensure the government gets fair economic return from its resources in the largely untouched region.

The Northern Quebec region has abundant deposits of nickel, cobalt, platinum group metals, zinc, iron ore and ilmenite, along with a significant portion of gold, lithium, vanadium and rare earth metals.

Minister of natural resources and wildlife Serge Simard said Northern Quebec has incomparable mining potential, and the opening up of vast, previously unexplored territories will pave the way for unprecedented economic growth.