SEPT-ÎLES, July 20, 2009 – The Port of Sept-Îles is proud to announce the signing of a financial partnership with the federal government to optimize the Pointe-Noire dock, which is used for the operations of Wabush Mines. The sum of $4.5 million was granted through the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, which provides funding for the rehabilitation and construction of provincial, municipal, and community infrastructure projects. The announcement was made today in the presence of Denis Lebel, Minister of State (Economic Development Agency for the Regions of Quebec), as well as representatives of Wabush Mines and other Sept-Îles dignitaries.

The project to optimize the Pointe-Noire dock represents an outlay of $9,070,000. It will mainly consist of a 50 meter extension to docking station no. 30, with the addition of a pile dolphin at its end, as well as structural reinforcement and rehabilitation of the dock’s concrete deck. The dock extension work will begin once environmental approvals, which are expected in early August, are granted. The work is scheduled for completion by late 2010.

The Pointe-Noire dock was acquired from Wabush Mines in 1998. Over the last ten years, the Port of Sept-Îles has invested more than $10 million in the structure. This new funding will boost business at the dock by providing greater berthing capacity for Wabush Mines and future users, and ensuring that the dock has a longer service life.

“With the anticipated start-up of new iron mines in Northern Québec, these investments are a first step in preparing for the expected growth in iron ore shipments in the coming years. They are key to fully optimizing the potential of the Pointe-Noire dock before going ahead with the addition of new infrastructures,” stated Pierre D. Gagnon, President and CEO of the Port of Sept-Îles.

“The federal government is giving us the means to meet the growing needs of our current and future users, which is essential for future development at the Port of Sept-Îles. I join the port community members and local stakeholders in applauding the federal government for this initiative under the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, which will help us meet the needs of a rapidly growing market,” added Carol Soucy, Chairman of the Board.

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.