Obituary: Jean Descarreaux, a Quebec mining icon

Obituary: Jean Descarreaux, a Quebec mining icon


The Quebec mineral exploration community marks the passing of Jean Descarreaux, who has been a monumental inspiration and mentor for generations of geologists and mineral exploration entrepreneurs in Quebec. He died on March 20 in Gatineau, Que., at age 76.

Descarreaux was a graduate of the University of Montreal (B.Sc. 1964 and M.Sc. 1967) and earned a PhD from Université Laval in 1973, with a thesis on the geochemistry of the Abitibi’s volcanic rocks.

His consulting career spanned over 50 years and provided exploration and business development expertise to prospectors, junior exploration and major mining companies as well as governments in Canada and abroad. As such, he participated in several base metal and gold discoveries including the Golden Pond and Estrades deposits in Quebec’s Casa Berardi region.

The geoscience community rewarded Descarreaux many times for his fundamental research on the application of lithogeochemistry as a prospecting tool and for helping develop mining entrepreneurship in Quebec.

Descarreaux was the founding president of Claude Resources in 1980 and co-founder of Cartier Resources, as well as a collaborator in the development of several exploration companies.

He was at the forefront of issues challenging the minerals industry and held positions in public bodies connected to the industry. Notably he instigated flow-through shares for mineral exploration in Quebec by convincing Premiers René Lévesque and Jacques Parizeau to adapt legislation that would enable this pro-active fiscal incentive.

Jean Descarreaux

He was a co-founder of the Quebec Prospectors Association (now the Quebec Mineral Exploration…



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