FRAN; rehabilitating abandoned mineral exploration sites


What is FRAN? The Fonds Restor-Action-Nunavik (FRAN) is a fund established to help rehabilitate abandoned mineral exploration sites in northern Quebec.

FRAN consists of 30 companies operating throughout Quebec. These companies share a common goal: cleaning and rehabilitating abandoned mineral exploration sites in Nunavik (the northern third of Quebec).

They work in partnership with the following governments, Inuit, and First Nations:

  • Kativik Regional Government (KRG)
  • Makivik Corporation
  • Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles du Québec (MERNQ)
Abitibi Geophysics Inc. Makivik Corporation
Quebec Mineral Exploration Association/Association de l’exploration minière du Québec (AEMQ Aurizon Mines
Québec Mining Association (QMA) Les Mines Opinaca Ltée. (Goldcorp)
Agnico Eagle Mines Exploration Osisko – Baie James (Mines Virginia inc.)
QMX Gold Corporation (Alexandria Minerals Corporation) PricewaterhouseCoopers
Areva Québec Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC)
Canadian Royalties Inc. Ressources Appalaches
Dios Exploration Breakwater Resources (now Nyrstar)
Ditem Exploration Inc. Cartier Resources Inc.
Donner Metals Ltd. (now Sphinx Resources) Majescor Resources Inc.
Eastmain Resources Metco Resources Inc.
Azimut Exploration Inc. Sirios Resources Inc.
Everton Resources Strateco Resources
Osisko Gold Royalties Roche Ltd, Consulting Group (now Norda Stalo)
Genivar Glencore, Raglan Mine
Canadian Helicopters Stornoway Diamond Corporation
Knight Resources Ltd. Uranium Star Corp.
Kativik Regional Government Vior Inc.


Crédit photo : Mines Virginia


During 30 years, from 1950 to 1980, a number of mineral exploration programs were carried out in Northern Quebec. There were no regulations requiring companies to clean up sites. Many sites were left strewn with debris, equipment, fuel, and toxic products. This historical context is described in detail in our factsheet Orphaned mining sites: history and legalities.

The 1990s and after – Inuit communities began the clean-up. A pilot project was launched with the goal of identifying and localizing abandoned mineral exploration sites in Nunavik.

In 2001-2002, a list was compiled of 193 potential sites of which 90 were identified as abandoned mineral exploration sites, and classified as follows:

Major cleanup Intermediate cleanup Minor cleanup
Number of sites 18 27 45


2004 – The KRG signed a four-year agreement (2004-2008) with Environment Canada and launched pilot projects in 2005 and 2006 on two of the sites requiring major cleanup work (KAW-35 and PJ-1).

Cruise North Expeditions, Makivik Corporation, and the KRG cleaned sites PJ-17, PJ-17A, and PJ-18. This work was carried out between 2005 and 2009.

2007 – An official four-year contribution agreement was signed by the KRG, the Makivik Corporation, MERN, and a consortium of mining companies known as Fonds Restor-Action-Nunavik (FRAN).

2007-2012 – Restoration work was carried out on the sites needing major cleanup work. During this period, FRAN offered a contribution of $750,000. This contribution was renewed for the period 2012-2017.

MERN has made a maximum financial contribution of $4.1 million towards this project.