Engineering & Mining Journal

DEC 2017

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 13 of 83

REGIONAL NEWS - U.S. & CANADA 12 E&MJ • DECEMBER 2017 QIO to Restart Bloom Lake Quebec Iron Ore (QIO) has confirmed the March 2018 restart of the Bloom Lake iron ore mine located near Fermont, Quebec. After acquiring Bloom Lake in April 2016, QIO secured the necessary funding and has been upgrading and optimizing the facili- ties, procuring off-take partners and forming mutually beneficial alliances with the host community. QIO is also proud to announce it is in the process of swiftly hiring more than 450 people to restart Bloom Lake. Only 19 months after acquiring aban- doned assets, QIO is set to deliver the large-scale project, the company said. QIO's business plan is based on the mine's long-term operation and an optimized sep- aration circuit, which should significantly improve recovery rates. The mine restart required an investment of more than $160 million, of which the government of Que- bec holds 36.8% as a partner. "Today, the eyes of the world are focused on an iron of exceptional quality, one of the best on the planet. And it's right here," said Executive Chairman of the Board and CEO of QIO and Champion Michael O'Keeffe. "Even though the challenges were huge and the amount of work colossal, our am- bition and determination have always been the same: to restart this mine, which has a high potential while respecting commu- nities, the development of the region and Quebec's economic interest." Since announcing the results of the Bloom Lake feasibility study in February, QIO has hired more than 250 workers to date. It entered into an Impact and Ben- efits Agreement with the Innu people of Uashat mak Maniutenam. The company also purchased 735 specialized railcars to transport iron ore and entered into an agreement with the Société ferroviaire et portuaire de Pointe-Noire for transporting 8 million tons of iron ore. The investments in the restart will also minimize environmental impact by introducing an electrode steam boiler that uses significantly less energy, using an overhead conveyer for ore transport and improved tailings management, which will greatly reduce the use of trucks. McArthur River Idles Uranium Production Due to continued uranium price weak- ness, Cameco announced that production from the McArthur River mining and Key Lake milling operations in northern Sas- katchewan will be temporarily suspended by the end of January. As a result of the suspension, the workforce at the operations will be re- duced temporarily by about 845 workers (560 employees and 285 contractors). About 210 workers (160 employees and 50 contractors) will be retained to main- tain the facilities in safe shutdown state. The company expects the costs to main - tain both operations during the suspen- sion to range between $6.5 million and $7.5 million per month. The duration of the suspension and temporary layoff is expected to last 10 months. Uranium prices have fallen by more than 70% since the Fukushima accident in March 2011 and remain at unsustain- ably low levels, according to Cameco. The company has been partially sheltered from the full impact of weak prices by its long-term contracts. Those contracts, however, are running out. Cameco has committed sales volumes of 28 million to 30 million lb in 2018. Falco Agrees to Purchase Sandvik Mining Fleet Falco Resources has signed an agreement to purchase the underground mining fleet for its Horne 5 project in Rouyn-Noranda, Québec, from Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, Val d'Or, Québec. "The pur- chase of the mining fleet brings the Horne 5 project one step closer to production," said Falco President and CEO Luc Lessard. "Through this agreement, we were able to secure favorable pricing and terms and have managed to further de-risk the project. "Sandvik will be providing a complete automation solution that will increase ef- ficiencies during production operations. Its experience, leading-edge technology, and proven track record of supplying un- derground mining projects throughout the world will further enhance the execution of the Horne 5 project." Sandvik equipment will be used in both the development and production phases of the Horne 5 mine. The fleet will include the five 21-ton scoops, five 17-ton scoops, four 50-ton mine trucks (plus two addition- al 50-ton mine trucks for Phase 3), four two-boom automated jumbos, five bolters, five automated production drills, two cable bolters, and two wet shotcrete sprayers. The total value of the new equipment fleet and AutoMine is approximately C$60 million. No deposits are required until the initial equipment order is made. Delivery of the fleet is scheduled to start in 2020. The Horne 5 ore is located immediate- ly below the former Horne mine, which was operated by Noranda from 1927 to 1976 and produced 11.6 million oz of gold and 2.5 billion lb of copper. A re- cently completed feasibility study pro- vides details for a project that will pro- duce an average of 219,000 ounces per year (oz/y) of gold over a mine life of 15 years. All-in sustaining cash costs are estimated at $399/oz net of byproduct credits for zinc, copper and silver. Pre-production construction costs for Horne 5 are estimated at $801.7 million. Process plant commissioning is currently scheduled for the first half of 2021, with full mine production planned for the first half of 2022. The deposit is located at depths ranging from 600 m to 2,300 m below surface. Suncor Lowers Capital Spending, Increases Production Suncor released its 2018 corporate guid- ance that includes a capital program of QIO will take advantage of existing infrastructure in the Labrador Trough.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Engineering & Mining Journal - DEC 2017