Quebec pays$ 8 Million for a pile of rocks

News 20 March, 2018
  • Photo courtesy, Resources Cartier
    Exploration of surface River Walleye are carried out by Ressources Cartier, the former owner of the mineral rights prior to 2011, to the north of the reserve La Verendrye.

    Hugo Joncas and
    David Prince

    Tuesday, 20 march, 2018 01:00

    Tuesday, 20 march, 2018 01:00

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    Quebec has paid$ 8 Million to buy back the mineral rights to an exploration company without proof that the ground where they are cache anything interesting.

    The company’s Copper One, who pocketed the loot, never even made a single drilling at the site of the Abitibi to prove his or her mining potential.

    In fact, it has done no work on this land, bought at a mining junior.

    The millions paid by Quebec are a balm for the Copper One, which had been trying for six years to work in the territory claimed by the indigenous people who oppose mining exploration.

    The Algonquins of Lac-Barrier threatened to draw up a dam in order to prevent Copper One to go on his property from River Gold, in the la Vérendrye wildlife reserve.

    To break the impasse, the company brought in two ex-liberals become lobbyists and former federal minister, liberal Peter Pettigrew.

    “It is surprising “

    At the end of the year 2017, Quebec has bought peace with the locals, at great expense. According to the latest annual report of the Copper One, its claims (mineral rights) were 854 996 $, that is nearly 10 times less than the$ 8 Million that the government has paid.

    “With the data available, it appears to be overvalued, said Michel Jebrak, a specialist in exploration and mining at the University of Quebec in Montreal. I don’t know how they assessed it, but everyone will tell you that it is surprising in the industry. “

    One of his academic colleagues, who prefers to remain anonymous, agrees.

    “The clues that I see in the report are interesting, but it’s nothing to justify a price of$ 8 Million. “

    In an interview with our Bureau of investigation, the CEO Scott Moore in démord yet not : his company would have preferred to do its drilling rather than touch the money of Quebec.

    “We’ve had a lot less than what it’s worth really,” he says.

    He said his firm has spent$ 14 Million in the mining project, but no public document shows.

    “Agreement confidential “

    The cabinet of the minister of natural Resources Pierre Moreau, the press officer has no explanation to share with the public.

    “The government regulates, by way of negotiation, a situation that is an exception, with an agreement confidential,” said his press officer, Catherine Poulin.

    Copper One is under the control of the powerful banking mogul mining Stan Bharti, in Toronto. Before agreeing with Quebec, the company had filed in February 2017 two lawsuits to force the government to let it do its exploration work, as provided for in the mining Act for mining claims being duly recorded.

    Ex-liberals to the rescue

    Last fall, the Copper One and Quebec, however, have begun to negotiate out of court. To facilitate its discussions with the government, the mine has hired a lobbyist to multiple connections of a liberal : Martin Daraiche, the National firm.

    Scott Moore is clear on the mandate that Copper One was then entrusted to National.

    Photo taken from LinkedIn

    Scott Moore, president and CEO of Copper One.

    “They had their contacts in the government. I don’t know that they met exactly, it didn’t matter at the time, ” he said. The aim was to get the most money possible in this situation. “

    For his part, Martin Daraiche ensures that it does not have the mandate to directly negotiate the price of$ 8 Million with the government for the transfer of the claims, but confirmed having participated in discussions with Québec in order to ” find a door “, which has led to ” talks about talks “.

    “It is this that has led to discussions on the decree that was ultimately adopted,” said the lobbyist.

    Peter Pettigrew is also involved in the discussions. The former minister in the federal liberal has been working since 2008 with the magnate of the mines that control Copper One, Stan Bharti. In 2014, the management asked him to act as a “strategic advisor to the board” of the company.

    According to Scott Moore, he was “trying to find an arrangement” with the Algonquins of Lac-Barrière, who refuse any mining activity in the territory that they claim around the property, River, Golden.

    “I don’t know if he has finally met,” he said. We have tried different avenues to convince the Algonquins. “

    These statements do not sway the leader of the village of Lake Barrier, Casey Ratt.

    “It will be devastating for the community if it ends up having a mine in the area “, he insists.

    Reached by telephone, Peter Pettigrew is required to receive our issues by e-mail. He assures not to have had “no communication direct or indirect” with the aboriginal people.

    The former minister has not explained exactly what was his role of advisor to the board of the Copper One.

    Peter Pettigrew has been a shareholder of the mining company until February 2017.




    Photo courtesy, National

    Martin Daraîche, managing partner at National law firm in Quebec city.

    Former advisor to the cabinet of the former minister of municipal Affairs Nathalie Normandeau, and then at that of Jean Charest, Martin Daraiche is now a lobbyist at the National in 2008, three months after leaving the office of the former prime minister.

    Martin Daraiche has made the news in 2012 for its contract with the alberta Smart Technologies. It aimed to convince the government to ” equip each classroom with an interactive whiteboard “, according to the Register of lobbyists.

    When Quebec launched the program, Smart Technologies, one of only two bidders, won the contract to$ 240 Million. Two studies have subsequently demonstrated that the government might hold back other solutions, up to 10 times less expensive.

    As of 2008, Premier Tech Environment is one of the first clients of Martin Daraiche. This company is also found in the heart of the news when Radio-Canada revealed in 2016, as the former minister Sam Hamad had intervened to obtain grants.

    He was acting in concert with Marc-Yvan Côté, another former minister, who held the position of vice-chair of the board of Premier Tech. The ethics Commissioner and the ethics concluded that Sam Hamad had violated the rules. As to Side, he is today accused of having organised a system of secret funding for the ex-minister Nathalie Normandeau.


    Josiane Hébert

    Photo courtesy, H+K Strategies

    Josiane Hébert, Vice-president government and public Affairs and deputy director general of the Quebec
    H+K Strategies

    The vice-president of the public relations firm H+K Strategies took a mandate of the Copper One in February 2017.

    The mining company then started its legal proceedings against Quebec, to be able to do the drilling on his property from River Gold.

    “The essence of our mandate, it was asked why the government prevented us from conducting exploration and try to have the permit to go on the ground,” said Josiane Hébert.

    The lobbyist began his career in lobbying in 1997 after more than six years in the annals of the liberal Party of Quebec, in particular, to the offices of two liberal ministers, from 1991 to 1994.


    File Photo, AFP

    Pierre Pettigrew, minister of Foreign Affairs

    In 2008, two years after leaving the political life, the former federal minister in the governments of Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin was put at the service of Forbes & Manhattan, the merchant bank of Stan Bharti. It controls a constellation of canadian mining companies present in the four corners of the globe, of which Copper is One.

    In this respect, Pierre Pettigrew has worked with former american generals within the companies Vast Exploration inc. and Longford Energy inc., trying to develop oil wells in iraqi Kurdistan, from 2008 to 2012, towards the end of the Iraq war.

    These two companies are in the database of the Paradise Papers, the latest leak massive documents on tax havens that has orchestrated the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.


    Photo courtesy, Forbes & Manhattan

    Stan Bharti, founder of the merchant bank Forbes & Manhattan, which control Copper One.

    Stan Bharti control Copper One, and a whole constellation of companies, through its business bank Forbes & Manhattan. The magnate of the mines increases the connections in Quebec, as in Iraq and Africa. In addition to the former federal minister Pierre Pettigrew, Stan Bharti has recruited a roster of influential figures such as advisors, including the former star of american tv Larry King.

    More than a dozen companies that control this magnate of the mines find themselves in the Paradise Papers, the latest leak of documents on tax havens from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.



    15 April 2011 : 536 321 $ exploration expenditures of surface are reported on the property from River Gold, without drilling.

    July 4, 2011 : exploration works are suspended by Quebec at the request of Resources Cartier, owner of the mining rights at the time, because of the opposition of the Algonquins of Lac-Barrier.

    1 December 2011 : Unable to agree with the Algonquins, Cartier, sells to its claims in the Copper One for $ 150,000 and 2 million shares of Copper One.

    2012 to 2014 : Copper One tries to get along with the community of Lac-Barrier to be able to do its drilling. The company offers to become a shareholder of the company, without success.

    3 July 2014 : Peter Pettigrew was appointed “strategic advisor to the board” of the Copper One.

    29 June 2016 : Copper One announces that Québec allows him to resume his exploration of the River Gold. The next day, it jumped up to 257 %.

    31 December 2016 : Copper One declares a carrying value of 854 996 $ for the claims of the River, Golden in its last annual report.

    January 25, 2017 : Josiane Hébert H+K Strategies, was hired as a lobbyist by the lawyers of the Copper One.

    27 January 2017 : Copper One announces that Québec plans to again suspend its claims. The title falling to 36 % the next business day.

    February 6, 2017 : The company begins legal proceedings against the government to force it to let it do its drilling.

    October 16, 2017 : Copper One gives a contract to Martin Daraiche National to discuss with Quebec.

    November 15, 2017 : Copper One announces the settlement with Quebec, who purchased his claim for$ 8 Million. The title is a leap of 329 %.

    January 9, 2018 : The claims are transferred to the Société québécoise d’exploration minière (SOQUEM), which belongs to the government.

    February 14, 2018 : The Algonquins of Lac-Barrier to file a petition to cancel the transaction between Copper One and Quebec. They fear that, SOQUEM can resume mining.