A survey of mining-company executives conducted by the conservative think-tank the Fraser Institute says that the province of Quebec “continues to lose the confidence of the global mining community,” a piece of news that may be found bittersweet by some in Eeyou Istchee. While hostility to mining in Quebec might be good news for those who oppose the Strateco Inc.’s Matoush uranium project, it’s not as welcome for those hoping to see the continued expansion of non-uranium mineral resource development in the Cree Nation.

The Fraser Institute’s Survey of Mining Companies: 2012/2013 is the result of interviews with executives from 742 mining companies and ranks 96 possible locations for mining around the world. Under the government of Jean Charest’s Liberal party, Quebec was ranked the best place in the world for mining between 2007 and 2010. In the past three years, it has fallen to the 11th spot on the list. The top-ranked mining location is now Finland, though Alberta and New Brunswick are ranked 3rd and 4th on the list.

There are several reasons for the loss of mining companies’ confidence in Quebec, notably the election of the Parti Québécois, who have pledged to raise taxes on mining. As well, the study concludes that one of the reasons that mining in Canada is falling out of favour is that “while Canadian jurisdictions remain competitive globally, uncertainties with Aboriginal consultation and disputed land claims are growing concerns for some.”

Anonymous executives are quoted in the document explaining their feelings about mining in Quebec—many speaking with regard to Aboriginal issues. Some are positive, saying that land-claims settlements and clear regulations have made mine work easy, and praising “First Nations assistance” in mining alongside government cooperation, transparency, and skilled labour. In one of the negative comments, however, a mining executive complains that “One portion of the province is covered by a First Nation agreement with the provincial government making it impossible to obtain any kind of preliminary permits before the final certificate of authorization is granted.” Another complains that new legislation allowing municipalities and surface-rights owners to control mineral development beneath the land they own has ruined mining in the province. “A great system destroyed in order to garner votes,” he says.