The history of this town began in 1929, when a prospector by the name of Léo Springer discovered rich copper, silver and gold deposits. The town was constituted in 1955 under the law governing mining operations. Opemiska Copper Mines, the main employer in those days, was in charge of providing services and municipal organization. Chapais has since diversified its economic activities with the opening of a sawmill in 1974 and by maximizing the productivity of forest biomass with the opening of the first co-generation plant in Québec.