Canadian Mining Journal

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Iron ore: Champion signs rail transport deal for Bloom Lake concentrate


Quebec — Champion Iron subsidiary Quebec Iron Ore has signed a confidential agreement with a rail transportation company to move iron ore concentrate from its Bloom Lake mine near Fermont, Que.

The company is preparing to put the past-producing open-pit mine, located in the southern end of the Labrador Trough, back into production. Under the transport agreement with Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway Co., the iron ore concentrate will be carried 400 km from the Wabush Lake Junction in Labrador City to the Sept-Iles Junction in Quebec.

The Bloom Lake iron ore mine in Quebec.

The Bloom Lake iron ore mine in Quebec.

“This agreement will ensure long-term access to some of the world’s largest consumers of iron ore for our future high quality product,” said Michael O’Keeffe, Champion’s chairman and CEO, in a release. “The signing of this rail transport agreement also marks yet another significant milestone in the Bloom Lake restart.”

Champion acquired Bloom Lake in April 2016 from Cliffs Natural Resources, which was undergoing a restructuring. The mine was in production until early 2015.

An updated positive feasibility study completed in February showed the mine has an after-tax net present value of $984 million (at a discount rate of 8%) and an internal rate of return of 33.3%.

The 66.2% iron concentrate production is expected to average 7.4 million t/y over a 21-year mine life. The initial capital expenditure (including working capital) is estimated at $326.8 million, with operating costs projected at $44.62 per tonne of dry concentrate produced.

Read more at www.championiron.com.