The Société québécoise d’exploitation minière (SOQUEM) discovered the deposit in 1967 in the southern portion of the Saint-Honoré carbonatite complex; that discovery would later become the Niobec mine. Three years later, Teck mining group joined forces with SOQUEM to develop and mine the deposit. Samples were taken for metallurgical testing purposes in a pilot plant in Québec City. In 1974, following a $ 20-million-investment, the construction of the mine began and production started in January 1976 with a daily throughput of 1,500 tons. Since then, Niobec never stopped evolving. If Quebec’s niobium continues to be shipped all around the world today, it’s because of the major investments that were made, the countless technological innovations and most importantly, the Company’s great pride in being a major player in the worldwide niobium market.

The Niobec mine has brought major economic benefits to the Saint-Honoré municipality. Suddenly becoming the North American niobium capital, Saint-Honoré benefited from remarkable economic growth with the introduction of this specific mining industry. The property covers an area of 2,422.6 hectares, and comprises two mining leases and 66 mining claims.

Until the end of 1994, niobium was only sold as a concentrate to European, Indian, Japanese, and American companies. In 1994, following the construction of a concentrate conversion plant, commercial production of ferroniobium began. Steel and other specialized metal manufacturers use ferroniobium as an alloy to improve the physical, mechanical, chemical and thermal properties of their products.

To ensure that Niobec reaches its environmental goals, it became ISO 14001:2004 certified in 2002. The corporation is also ISO 9001:2008 certified, a guarantee of reliability for our clients.


Discovery by SOQUEM inc. of Niobec’s deposit.


Beginning of commercial production of concentrate.


Cambior inc. acquires from SOQUEM a 50% participation in Niobec.


Mazarin inc. acquires Teck Corporation’s 50% participation in Niobec.


The corporation becomes ISO 14001 certified.


Les Minéraux Séquoia inc. is created following the restructuring of Mazarin inc.


Les Minéraux Séquoia inc. is created following the restructuring of Mazarin inc.


Cambior Inc. acquires the remaining 50% participation in Niobec from Les Minéraux Séquoia inc. (previously Mazarin inc.).


An expansion programme increased the mine’s throughput by 20%.


IAMGOLD acquires the Niobec mine by way of the Cambior inc. transaction. The plant’s daily throughput increases from 4,200 tons to 4,800 tons during the second quarter.


A $ 20.3 million programme, that includes the installation of a new winch and the extension of the headframe, is implemented.


The pit’s depth is increased from 550 metres to 855 metres. A technical report shows that the backfill pulp system will increase the quantity of higher-grade matter extracted. This system will also double the quantity of the mine’s reserves.


The corporation announced that the proven and probable reserves as at December 31, 2008, increased by 36% (137,800 tons of Nb2O5), which represented an increase of the mine’s lifespan by 18 years at its current production rate. In June 2009, the corporation confirmed that the backfill pulp plant will be built and that the concentrator would be expanded so as to increase production by 24%.


September: Niobec inc. becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of IAMGOLD.


January 22, 2015: Magris Resources officially became the new owner of Niobec.


Le Guide et bonnes pratiques pour un processus harmonieux d’acquisition et d’indemnisation est la propriété intellectuelle du Comité du milieu. Les demandes de reproduction ou de traduction doivent être adressées au bureau de relations avec la communauté de Niobec.