Natural Resources



Everyone benefits from forest resources — be they in the form of wildlife, plantlife, water, or wood. Aside from the management and harvesting activities associated with lumber processing, the forest is home to a broad range of recreational and educational activities, such as fishing and hunting, as well as bird- and animal-watching.

The forest is one of the main driving forces behind Québec’s economy. The forestry sector includes forest management, softwood and hardwood timber products and pulp and paper production. With over 400 primary processing plants are found throughout the regions, this industry provides approximately 80,000 direct jobs in the forestry and wood processing sectors. The forest generates one out of every six jobs in outlying regions, and another 1.6 indirect jobs in the rest of Québec’s economy. For close to 250 of the Québec municipalities the forest industry is the main foundation of the local economy.

Development and marketing of high value added products, many of them energy-efficient materials, also contribute to the excellent reputation of the Québec forest industry. Top of page


Québec is a major producer of iron, zinc, nickel and copper and precious metals such as gold. For 2009 and 2010, Québec ranked first among the Canadian provinces, ahead of Ontario for the first time, in terms of metallic mineral producer.

Québec also extracts the following non-metallic minerals:

  • Non industrial minerals are chrysotile, graphite, ilmenite, mica, and salt, silica, sulfur, steatite and peat.
  • Construction materials include limestone, cement, industrial stone, clay products, as well as sand and gravel. All these commodities harvested in Québec are mostly distributed in the province.
The value of shipments (metallic and non-metallic minerals) from Québec in 2010 reached $6.8 B while mining investments totalled $2.5B, of which 483 M$ accounts for exploration and deposit appraisal expenditures. »
More than 16 000 direct jobs are generated in exploration, extraction and primary processing activities. In addition, the mining sector also provides the equivalent of 14 000 indirect jobs to support the industry (professional services, machinery manufacturers, etc.) 

Québec's three main mining regions are Abitibi-Témiscamingue (gold, silver, zinc, copper), the North Shore (iron) and the Nord-du-Québec region (nickel, gold, zinc). Top of page


Québec is one of only a handful of societies in the world to have a plentiful supply of clean and renewable energy. Its leadership in the electricity generating field has earned international recognition; 97 % of all the electricity it produces is “green” electricity! Electricity exportations by the government-owned Hydro-Québec are in constant progression.

The province is aiming at becoming a leader in the field of sustainable energy. The Québec energy strategy released by the government proposes:

  • To accelerate the pace of development of hydroelectric potential
  • Develop wind power
  • Invest in energy efficiency
  • Focus on new energy technologies. Priority will be given to the development of bio-fuels, and to the promotion of geothermal and solar energy. Top of page