2024 – Future Windfall Gold Mine


The electricity for the future Windfall gold mine in Abitibi will come from Hydro-Québec, but will be transported via an already built, 87-kilometer-long private transmission line – a first in Quebec.

The power line, inaugurated Friday, is owned by Miyuukaa Corp., a company owned by the Cree of Waswanipi that built the line and put it into operation last January.

“This is a historic event in Quebec and perhaps in all of Canada,” said Mathieu Savard, president of Osisko Mining, which owns the Windfall gold deposit jointly with South African mining company Gold Fields.

Osisko and its partner have secured a 27 megawatt supply of electricity from Hydro-Québec. They will be Miyuukaa's customers for the supply of energy to the mining site between Val-d'Or and Chibougamau.

Working with First Nations on power transmission will not only significantly reduce energy costs and the environmental footprint of mining activities, but may also provide the model of the future for Quebec's next hydroelectric projects.

This lays the foundation for a new perspective on energy development in northern Quebec.

Mathieu Savard, President of Osisko Mining

The private transmission line dedicated to the future mine is a first in Quebec, confirms Hydro-Québec. The state-owned company has already entered into a partnership with the Mohawks of Kahnawake, who will jointly own the Quebec portion of the transmission line that will transport Quebec electricity to New York. The Mohawks' share is 10% and could rise to 49%.

Hydro-Québec CEO Michael Sabia said in announcing the agreement that it was an example of new forms of cooperation with First Nations and Inuit.

The state-owned company plans huge investments to increase its electricity production and plans to build 5,000 kilometers of transmission lines.

State support

The private transmission line that will connect the Hydro-Québec network to the future gold mine has been in operation since last January. It is 87 kilometers long and required investments of 177 million, part of which, 40 million, came from Transition Énergie Québec and 30 million from Investissement Québec. The FTQ Fund and the James Bay Development Corporation also participated in financing the project.

Hydro-Québec itself started the transmission line construction project in 2020, with the intention of paying financial compensation to the First Nations as is customary.

The Cree of Waswanipi then took over responsibility for the project. “The idea came from the Cree and we seized the opportunity because it's not every day that we get to lay a power line on a project of this magnitude,” explained the president of Osisko.

Industrial-rate electricity from Hydro-Québec is by far the best option for the future mine.


The President of Minière Osisko Mathieu Savard

Energy is a major cost factor in any mining project. It was clear that Hydro-Québec's L-rate electricity was highly competitive with all other energy sources.

Mathieu Savard, President of Osisko Mining

The 27 megawatts of energy purchased from Hydro-Québec will make it possible to partially electrify the underground operations, the ore processing plant and the warehouse of the future gold mine, which will employ 600 to 700 people full-time. By reducing diesel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by an estimated 17,000 tonnes per year.

According to Mathieu Savard, the Windfall project is considered a world-class gold deposit, the likes of which are rarely discovered anywhere in the world.

The project is in the environmental development phase and if all permits are received, the mine could be operational in 2026.

Between the first exploration activities and the start of mining activities, more than ten years will have passed and more than a billion dollars will have been invested.