Chibougamau is a town in the territory governed by the Eeyou Istchee James Bay regional government, located on Lake Gilman about 500 km north of Quebec City. In 2011, the population was of 7,541 people. Chapais is located along Route 113 about 45 km west of Chibougamau (population 1,610).

Ville de Chibougamau

Due to its remoteness from Lac-Saint-Jean (over 200 km) and Abitibi-Témiscamingue (over 250 km) areas, the Chibougamau-Chapais region provides services for the few small communities surrounding it (ex. Cree villages of Mistissini and Oujé-Bougoumou) and for the regional resource-based industries (ex. Stornoway Diamond’s Renard mine, Chantiers Chibougamau). Access to region is by Route 167 from Lac-Saint-Jean and by Route 113 from Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Chibougamau's airport is along Route 113, about halfway to Chapais. The region is also the railhead of Canadian National’s Chemin de fer d’intérêt local interne du Nord du Québec (CFILNQ).

Chibougamau’s history is directly linked to the richness of its soil, and the Town has long depended on the exploitation of natural resources. Today, although it is still fed by its mining and forestry heritage, the town has integrated service, energy and tourism industries to its economy; it is indeed now recognized for its important assets in terms of business and entrepreneurship. Following the closure of the mine in 1991, Chapais’ primary industry has been forestry, and the community opened the first cogeneration plant in Quebec to produce electricity from the sawmill's wastes.

The Chibougamau-Chapais region is also renowned for its skilled workforce in the mining and forestry domains. Moreover, the presence of various training centers (professional, collegial) brings a constant flow of qualified workers to the region.

In April 2015, the Government of Quebec relaunched its Plan Nord program which, over the next 20 years, is projected to represent about 22B$ investments, 10,000 jobs in construction phase and 9,730 jobs in operation phase. Plan Nord is an economic development strategy launched to develop the natural resources extraction sector in Northern Quebec, i.e. north of the 49th parallel. The geographical situation and history of the Chibougamau-Chapais makes it a hub when it comes to northern economic and social development.

As part of the Whabouchi Project, the Chibougamau-Chapais region, and most precisely the Town of Chibougamau, will serve as a transportation hub to which the spodumene concentrate produced at the mine site will be trucked. From that site, the concentrate will be boarded on a train and transported by Canadian National (CN) to a second processing facility located in Southern Quebec. The Town of Chibougamau is also looking at implementing a regional transhipment center, a facility Nemaska Lithium could be using as part of its project.

Nemaska Lithium has been in contact with representatives of both Chibougamau and Chapais since project inception. Discussions are ongoing towards the signature of a Déclaration des partenaires which would cover items such as local and regional employment and procurement as well as socio-economic diversification and development.