o3 BLOG | Investing

Val-d’Or — A City With a Rich Gold History

September 3, 2021

O3 Mining

The first documented discovery of gold occurred in 1823 along the shores of Rivière Chaudière in the Eastern Townships of Québec, but it wasn’t until the early 1900s when the Abitibi Greenstone Belt would become the home to many major gold-mining camps. The Province of Quebec has a rich gold mining history and is the second-highest producer of gold in Canada. The Abitibi Greenstone belt is a massive geological structure stretching east of Val-d’Or, Quebec (The Valley of Gold) all the way west across the Ontario border to Kirkland Lake and Timmins, Ontario and beyond. Quebec, immediately to the east of Ontario, hosts many key gold deposits and productive gold mines. Before the 1870s or 1880s, nearly all of the significant mineral deposits in Canada were accidentally discovered by individuals who were not actively searching for deposits. In the 1920s, the Noranda copper-gold deposit and other base metal deposits were discovered by prospectors working along what became known as the Rouyn–Val-d’Or gold belt. The total gold endowment for the Val-d’Or/Rouyn-Noranda area reached 113.4 million ounces at the end of 2019. If we include inferred resources, the gold endowment increases to 142.6 million ounces, making it one of Canada’s most productive gold mining belts.

The Abitibi Gold Belt, is a subsection of the Greenstone Belt covering roughly 1500 square kilometres and comprises mainly sedimentary, volcanic and intrusive rocks, was formed over the course of 140 million years between 2.79 and 2.64 billion years ago. The total gold content of the belt exceeds 300 million ounces, including past production and current reserves and resources. Despite over 100 years of active mining, the belt still offers much potential for new discoveries. Recently, O3 Mining reported multiple high-grade drill results that suggest economically feasible deposits.

Abitibi’s Geological History

The Cadillac Fault is a geological anomaly that plays a major role in Quebec’s mining history. The fault is about 160 kilometres long and extends from Val-d’Or, Quebec, across the provincial border to Kirkland Lake, Ontario.

In Addition to gold, there is a great wealth of other precious metals like copper, zinc, nickel, and nonferrous minerals such as lithium. The geological anomaly prompted the Abitibi-Témiscamingue Gold Rush, which set the groundwork for many thriving mining towns on the Abitibi belt.

Municipal and Provincial Economy

Gold mining is an integral piece of the local economy of Val-d’Or. Val-d’Or is home to the Sigma mine, which has been an active producer of gold since 1937, and although it is no longer in operation, it is still recognized as one of Canada’s most substantial gold mines. Production at the Lamaque mine started in 1935, but was offset by the discovery of a large reserve of copper, zinc and gold and closed in 1989. However, Eldorado Gold company revisited the Lamanque mine and began production in 2019. The mining site, which includes the former Sigma and Lamanque mines, were exploited in different stages between 1900 – 2012.

On a provincial level, the mining industry contributes to Quebec’s ongoing socio-economic development. The mining sector offers residents stable jobs, and helps fund many local projects and institutions. There is a mutual respect between mining companies and the residents of Quebec and companies go to great lengths to ensure they implement ESG initiatives, and follow Quebec’s requirements for sustainable development and involvement of community stakeholders. The mining industry helps create wealth within the province and precious metals are the lifeblood for many communities in Quebec. The Canadian mining industry takes pride in responsible mining and is setting the global standard for ethical mining practices and commitment to Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG).

Historically, gold has held its value and even sees gains during times of crisis. It is considered the ultimate safe-haven asset, an effective hedge against inflation, and an integral part of a diversified portfolio. As we navigate unprecedented times and economic uncertainty, the value of gold continues its upward trajectory. As part of a COVID-19 global recovery strategy to recovery efforts, there will be a great need for precious metals, more specifically gold.

Other Significant Mines in Val-d’Or and Surrounding regions

The Goldex mine in the northwestern Québec’s Abitibi region is one of the many operations owned by Agnico Eagle. Processing and underground mining in satellite M and E zones began in September 2013, with the Goldex mine launching commercial production in October of 2013. In July 2017, The Deep 1 project established commercial production of the Goldex Mine and is expected to extend operations into  2030 according to current mine plans. Learn more about Agnico Eagle’s Goldex mine operation here.

Eldorado Gold Quebec is another key gold mining player that operates near the Val-D’or region. Eldorado Gold Quebec focuses on expanding and developing the Lamaque underground gold mine, which began commercial production in March 2019. Learn more about Eldorado Gold Quebec here.

Along with O3 Mining, Eldorado Gold Quebec and Agnico Eagle implement ESG initiatives and are committed to ethical and responsible mining practices, promoting sustainability and improving communities within the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region.

Throughout the years, gold has remained the most valuable mined mineral in Canada in terms of production value, and production has trended upwards over the past decade. We can expect an upward trajectory as technological advances emerge as gold is a prized metal for its use in circuitry, electronics, and space exploration equipment. As the hunt for the precious yellow metal continues, investors who want to take advantage of the abundance of potential gold opportunities should consider mining and exploration companies in the Abitibi gold belt. 

It’s an exciting time to become part of Quebec’s thriving gold industry. Contact us, and an investor relations executive will be happy to discuss how O3 Mining can help you secure your financial future.



It’s an exciting time to become part of Quebec’s thriving gold industry. Contact us, and an investor relations executive will be happy to discuss how O3 Mining can help you secure your financial future.


To learn how O3 Mining can add long-term value to your portfolio, contact us today.

An investor relations executive will be in touch with you shortly.