SEPT-ÎLES, December 1, 2009 – The Port of Sept-Îles is pleased to announce that the initial blasting operations carried out in recent days in the Pointe-Noire sector definitively marked the launch of construction and development activities at the site by its new partner, Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines Ltd. (CLM).

As a result of the long-term agreement the two parties signed in late October, the new iron ore mining company will set up storage and handling facilities for its maritime shipping needs. In the coming months the company will be doing extensive work to develop an area of over 20 ha by setting up railroads and major iron-ore handling equipment including rotary car dumper, stacker-reclaimers, and a conveyor system. This work represents private investments of some $100 million and will generate major economic spinoffs in the form of various contracts for the regional community.

“With annual production capacity starting at 8 million tons and plans by CLM to increase its capacity to 16 million tons within a few years, we are pleased to announce that with the arrival of this new partner, the Port of Sept-Îles is affirming its role as North America’s leading iron ore port. What’s more, the increase in volume will make it Canada’s second biggest port,” said CEO Pierre D. Gagnon.

“With the arrival of our new partner in the Pointe-Noire sector and the considerable activities and spinoffs it will bring, we are determined to continue growing and fully assume our important role as a community developer. In 2009 over $160 million in investments were announced from all our partners combined,” noted Carol Soucy, Chairman of the Board at Port of Sept-Îles.

Port activity remains a significant source of wealth creation in Quebec and Canada. The port facilities in Sept-Îles play a vital and strategic role in the operations of many businesses working in the region’s primary sector.

The Port of Sept-Îles is at the forefront of the region’s economy and plays a key role in its development. The Port accounts for some 4,000 direct and indirect jobs and its annual economic impact has been estimated at $1 billion.