Canadian Mining Journal

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IRON ORE: Champion signs off-take, loan for Bloom Lake



The concentrator at the Bloom Lake iron ore mine. Credit: The Northern Miner.

QUEBEC – Quebec Iron Ore, a subsidiary of Champion Iron in Montreal, has signed an off-take agreement and arranged bridge financing for the restart of the Bloom Lake iron ore mine 400 km north of Sept-Iles. The mine is capable of producing 20 million tonnes of ore annually.

The off-take agreement is with Sojitz Corporation, a trading company. The Japanese firm has agreed to take up to 3 million dry tonnes per year for an initial five-year term when commercial production resumes. The agreement will automatically renew for additional five-year terms.

Champion has also arranged a $40-million bridge financing so that work can begin at the mine site this summer. There will be upgrades to the tailings management system, process plant upgrades, and ordering of long lead time items.

The financing consists of a $20 million loan from Sojitz and a $6-million loan from Ressources Quebec – holder of a 36.8% interest in Bloom Lake. A $14-million equity investment is also being made by Champion (63.2%) and the Quebec government proportionate to their respective shares in the company.

The Bloom Lake mine already has the necessary federal and provincial permits. The feasibility for the restart of the mine is posted at www.ChampionIron.com.