Archive | Newfoundland and Labrador Mining

Alderon offers $1 million for part of Wabush Mines to use as tailings disposal for Kami – by Andrew Topf ( – April 9, 2017)

Part of the Wabush Mines complex in western Labrador may be running once again, albeit in a less glorified form that when it was Canada’s third largest iron ore mine.

Last week Alderon Iron Ore Corp., (TSX:IRON) a Vancouver-based iron ore junior, said it made a binding offer to purchase assets related to the Scully Mine in Wabush, for the purpose of disposing tailings produced from its flagship Kami project, as described in a preliminary economic assessment (PEA).

Part of Wabush Mines, Scully Mine began operating in 1965, with iron concentrate railed to a pelletizing facility in Pointe Noire, Quebec, for shipment to Europe and throughout North America. Before it closed in 2014, a victim of low iron ore prices, Wabush Mines was Canada’s third largest iron ore operation, with an annual capacity of 6 million tonnes. The site since then has been tied up in regulatory proceedings. Continue Reading →

$2M federal loan helps secure future of Baie Verte copper mine – by Curtis Rumbolt (CBC News Newfoundland and Labrador – November 7, 2016)

Rambler Metals and Mining says a $2-million loan from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency announced last week will help secure the long-term future of its copper mine on the Baie Verte Peninsula.

Rambler chief executive officer Norman Williams said the repayable loan is the last piece in a financial package that will extend the life of the mine to more than 20 years and eventually secure more than 200 direct jobs from the gold and copper mine’s operations. “It’s about setting up those 200 jobs for the long-term prosperity up on the peninsula,” CEO Norman Williams told the Central Morning Show Monday.

“[It’s] about 20 years of mining. When you have employment to that level, and that magnitude, hopefully we’re going to see lots of people come and go and retire and stay on the Baie Verte Peninsula.” Continue Reading →

IOC in Labrador on backburner with Rio Tinto shakeup, but not dead: analyst (CBC News Newfoundland and Labrador – June 27, 2016)

A shakeup with the leadership of the company that owns the iron ore mining operation in western Labrador could mean a slowdown, but one analyst says it’s unlikely the Iron Ore Company of Canada will shut down.

Rio Tinto last week appointed Jean-Sébastien Jacques to take over the company as chief executive. The mining giant has also reorganized its operations, with iron ore operations taking a back seat to copper.

With an oversupply of iron ore expected for the next 10 years, Rio Tinto’s focus will be on its other commodities and resources, like copper and iron ore, in Western Australia. Continue Reading →

New St. Lawrence fluorspar mine means high hopes for local job seekers (CBC News Newfoundland and Labrador – April 25, 2016)

Much excitement following employment information session, says deputy mayor

The deputy mayor of St. Lawrence, on Newfoundland’s Burin Peninsula, says there’s much optimism in his town now that preparation work for a new fluorspar mine is underway.

Jack Walsh told the St. John’s Morning Show that contractor Pennecon is now clearing land at the site where the open pit mine will be developed. “We’re very enthusiastic about our future here,” he said. “There’s a lot of interest from all over the peninsula.”

Once it’s up and running, the operation will mine for fluorspar — or fluorite, a mineral used for a wide range of industrial and commercial materials, including for camera and telescope lenses. Walsh said Canada Fluorspar Inc. has ordered equipment for the actual construction of the mill, and work on that site will start in June. Pennecon expects to be done clearing the land in the next 10 days. Continue Reading →

How the madness of Muskrat Falls might finally be fixed – by Tom Adams (Financial Post – April 22, 2016)

Mired in controversy, cost overruns, construction delays, politicized decision-making, existential litigation and secrecy, the Lower Churchill Muskrat Falls hydroelectric megaproject in Labrador has just generated the first good news in its history.

The energy-development arm of Newfoundland and Labrador’s government, Nalcor Energy, has this week seen a changing of the guard. Out are Nalcor’s board and CEO. Together, they had an intimate association with the former provincial Progressive Conservative government, which had initiated and shielded the Muskrat Falls project from prying eyes.

In, as of Thursday, is a new CEO, Stan Marshall, recently retired as the head of the private utility powerhouse Fortis Inc. Under Marshall, Fortis rose from its roots as a medium-sized domestic power distributor based in St. John’s to become an extremely successful international multi-energy utility company. Continue Reading →

Chance of new life as American buyer eyes Wabush Mines – by Glenn Payette (CBC News Newfoundland and Labrador – April 13, 2016)

300 to 400 jobs if mine gets back in production

A United States company is looking to buy Wabush Mines with a view to having it re-opened within a year. Virginia-based ERP Compliant Fuels has submitted a bid to Cliffs Natural Resources which owns the mine but closed it in 2014.

“We are very interested and trying to close the transaction this spring,” said ERP co-founder Tom Clarke. Clarke said his company hopes to take full advantage of what the mine has to offer.

“The mine can produce up to six million metric tonnes, and employment would probably be somewhere between 300 and 400 people once we get back to the six million tonne production level.” Continue Reading →

[Newfoundland and Labrador] A BOOM GOES BUST – by Rachelle Younglai (Globe and Mail – March 19, 2016)

After riding the oil boom for more than a decade, Newfoundland and Labrador has fallen on hard times. Multibillion-dollar projects have dried up, iron ore mines have shuttered and the fallout of crude’s price plunge has pushed the deficit to a record $2-billion. How the province is grappling with a return to ‘have-not’ status

ST. JOHN’S – Rick Farrell was among hundreds who lost their jobs in December when the shipyard where they worked finished making a gigantic module for Newfoundland and Labrador’s fourth offshore oil field – Hebron.

Unlike previous years when unemployed tradespeople could easily find work in Alberta, that was no longer an option with oil prices plunging.

The layoffs hit Mr. Farrell’s hometown of Marystown hard and rippled across Newfoundland’s Burin peninsula, hurting the local businesses and small communities that dot the province’s southern coast. Continue Reading →

Plans move forward for rare earth elements mine on Labrador coast (CBC News Newfoundland and Labrador – March 14, 2016)

Search Minerals, a mining and exploration company, is making plans for a rare earth elements mine on the southeast coast of Labrador.

The company, based in both British Columbia and Labrador, discovered the Port Hope Simpson Rare Earth Element District, a belt in the area about 70 kilometres long and up to eight kilometres wide.

are earth elements are used to make such things as batteries, electronics and magnets. Search Minerals president Greg Andrews said the company has received a preliminary economic assessment on its “Foxtrot” project, in the Fox Harbour area, to see if it’s economic to move into production. Continue Reading →

Wabush mine pension fight continues, says Labrador West MHA – by Katherine Hobbs (CBC News Newfoundland and Labrador – March 11, 2016)

Labrador West MHA, Graham Letto, says the fight continues for pensioners affected by the area’s downturn, but work will also have to be done to diversity the economy.

It’s been two years since Wabush Mines shut down and communities are struggling.

“We have stepped up to the plate with Wabush as a government … we’re working very hard to find some resolutions to the issues that exist up there, especially around the pension plans, finding a new buyer for Wabush Mines,” said Letto.

When the financially troubled mine, owned by Cliffs Natural Resources, closed in 2014, pension plans were underfunded by about $47 million dollars. Continue Reading →

Vale making strides towards underground mine in Labrador – by Terry Roberts (CBC News Newfoundland and Labrador – March 10, 2016)

Plans to expand Vale’s mining operations in Labrador are progressing as the Brazilian-based mining giant prepares for construction at the Voisey’s Bay site.

A company official says a project team is being assembled in St. John’s, the procurement process is underway, and the process of selecting an engineering and project management contractor is in the final stages.

Civil construction will begin this summer, Vale’s Bob Carter explained in a statement to CBC News, and the new mine is expected to produce first ore in four years. “Next year we will begin the actual underground mine development work,” he wrote. Continue Reading →

Bloom Lake sale ‘bodes well’ for Wabush Mines, MHA Graham Letto says (CBC News Newfoundland and Labrador – February 02, 2016)

MHA Graham Letto says he’s optimistic about the future of Labrador West, and Wabush Mines, now that the Quebec Superior Court has approved the sale of Bloom Lake.

“I think it’s very positive and it bodes well for any future sale of the Wabush Mines itself,” Letto told CBC Radio’s Labrador Morning.

The shuttered iron ore mine in northeastern Quebec was bought by Quebec Iron Ore Inc., a subsidiary of Champion Iron Ltd., for $10.5 million.

“The fact that the courts and the [Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act] has approved the sale for $10.5 million — Continue Reading →

Vale N.L. plant processing Voisey’s Bay concentrate – by Ashley Fitzpatrick (St. John’s Telegram – January 21, 2016)

Company living up to commitments to move off imported material: province

Vale Newfoundland and Labrador is still in the process of ramping up to full production at its new hydromet production facility in Long Harbour, to continue for several years, but the company is using material from the Voisey’s Bay mine.

“The Long Harbour plant began operating on only Voisey’s Bay concentrate in early January,” a provincial Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman stated in an emailed response to questions this week.

In February 2015, a then-Progressive Conservative government announced an amendment to the Voisey’s Bay Development Agreement, allowing the company more time before it would be required to process product from its Labrador mine at the plant. Continue Reading →

Bloom Lake ‘bargain’ a long term investment, says iron ore expert (CBC News Newfoundland and Labrador – December 16, 2015)

The new owners of the Bloom Lake iron ore mining project in northeastern Quebec got a bargain, but a mining analyst says don’t expect production any time soon.

“We think it’s a great deal,” said Garrett Nelson Tuesday in an interview with CBC Radio’s Labrador Morning.

“We think this asset will have significant value, longer term.” Quebec Iron Ore Inc., a subsidiary of Champion Iron Ltd., said Friday it had agreed to pay $10.5 million for the mine, railway and mineral claims just across the border from Labrador.

It will also assume responsibility for nearly $42 million in environmental liabilities. Continue Reading →

Another blow for Labrador as IOC delays Wabush 3 project – (CBC News Newfoundland and Labrador – December 9, 2015)

The Iron Ore Company of Canada is blaming a weak outlook in the commodities market for a decision to delay development of the Wabush 3 project in Labrador West.

The project has been described as “critical” to the ongoing viability of the operation, but company officials said in a memo to employees Tuesday that it must limit capital spending in 2016.

With iron ore prices now at a 10-year low, and no signs of a rebound on the horizon, IOC officials said tough decisions have to be made.

The Newfoundland and Labrador government gave its approval for the new open pit mine in September, bringing some much-needed good news to an area hard hit by a prolonged slump in iron ore prices. Continue Reading →

Moving forward [Iron Ore Company of Canada] – by Ty Dunham (St. John’s Telegram – September 16, 2015)

IOC’s Wabush 3 project approved for development

The Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) has received approval for the expansion of the Wabush 3 pit.

The Iron Ore Company of Canada in Labrador City received the long awaited approval for the Wabush 3 open mining pit development. — Photo by Ty Dunham/The Aurora

The provincial government gave the green light to the environmental assessment last week, giving company the go-ahead on a critical project that will provide sustainability over the amount of ore that goes to the plant to meet the rate of production.

Marsha Power Slade, senior adviser for external relations and corporate affairs for IOC, said while IOC started focusing on the project 2 1/2 years ago, discussions on the expansion began five to seven years ago.

She added the additional pit would allow for greater ore flexibility due to its low strip ratio. Continue Reading →