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IOS is an independent consulting group which has been servicing the mineral exploration community in Québec for 31 years and is stubbornly unique. Their competitors scramble to copy them, and they consider this as an honour!

Québec is an isolated island within North America. To thrive in such a limited market, a firm needs to diversify into the different aspects of its specified industry. This contrasts with the rest of North America, where the market is large and providers are specialised. This leads to the uniqueness of the IOS business model! With Québec currently being the world epicentre of mineral exploration, miners quickly realise that things work differently there! So a broad-based service offering is particularly appreciated for foreign groups who wish to install themselves in a fast and efficient manner.


On a global scale, mineral exploration has profoundly changed in the last few years, notably due to the convergence of three geopolitical pressures. Firstly, the concept of a global economy where commodities travel across the globe is being upended. Major economies are recalibrating themselves, trying to avoid dependence on unstable third parties and take the car manufacturer as example, where shortage of microchips derailed the whole industry. This applies across the entire supply chain, from raw commodities to finished products. North America wants North-American supply lines.

Second is the severance from fossil fuels and the electrification of everything. This requires resetting the supply in numerous commodities such as lithium, graphite, tantalum, vanadium, and so fourth. Since the global supply capacity is to be build, better built it in dependable and stable jurisdiction.

Third is the Ukraine-Russia crisis. These two countries were first class commodity exporters, from agricultural products and fertilisers to raw minerals and metals (nickel, platinum, aluminium, pig-iron, titanium, diamond, and so on) as well as energy (oil, gas, coal, uranium, etc). They are more or less out for the next few decades, due to sanctions or infrastructure disruptions. And Canada is the back-up producer for most of these. So Canada is poised for a massive expansion of its mining sector, and Québec is the forefront to supply North America and Europe. The opportunity of the century is at hand, so it is up to us to grasp it!

Everything we consume is either grown or mined! When a mine is properly built, the wealth it generates is equally shared between the owners (capital markets), the local ecosystem (workers, suppliers), and the various levels of governments (income taxes, corporate taxes, royalties,). Since two thirds of the generated wealth goes back directly to the community, mining is generally seen as a source of wealth. IOS did the math and concluded that mining is a win-win-win when correctly done with proper ESG measures! Canada and Québec are highly regulated and stable social-democracies, ensuring proper ESG guidance.

Furthermore, groups like IOS are one of the ESG guardians of the mineral exploration industry. Mineral exploration is sometimes associated with recklessness, but this attitude is fading away. Mining gets profitable only if metal ingots are poured, so efforts must be dedicated towards developing realistic projects and not only to stimulate the exploration gambit. It sounds trivial, but this is fundamental. In the future, less promising projects shall be disregarded and efforts preserved into finding sustainable mines. Most exploration groups do not get this right, and this is where IOS brings an advantage.


A range of expertise brings a broader perspective and wider reach, so the group got to choose between being a big in a fish tank, or a small fish in the blue ocean. Capitalising on its expertise, they developed applications in automated mineralogy that trusted them as the world leaders in application of such to exploration. A variety of specialised applications were developed, dedicated at improving exploration efficiency. Different facets of these technologies were adopted by global mining groups, and the firm is currently licensing the technologies to selected third parties to cope with the demand. All this is challenging, but they are on the right spot at the right moment.   EG

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