Caution urged as mining companies eye critical minerals beneath Quebec boreal forest

By Stephane Blais
CBC News
February 8, 2023
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada East

…roughly 70 per cent of Quebec is covered by boreal forest. In the north those forests have been accumulating and sequestering carbon for centuries where it remains in the soil as dead organic matter. …Alison Munson, a professor of forest ecology at Université Laval, said the amount of carbon trapped in soils around James Bay needs to be a factor when resource extraction projects are contemplated. …It is what lies beneath these soils — including critical minerals such as lithium used to manufacture batteries — that has mining companies eyeing the region. …La Grande Alliance, a memorandum of understanding signed in 2020 between the Quebec government and the Cree Nation, calls for the construction of about 700 kilometres of railway, a deep sea port and hundreds of kilometres of new roads and power lines through the forest to allow mining companies to access critical minerals.

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