SEPT-ÎLES, July 27, 2010 – The Port of Sept-Îles and Développement Économique Sept-Îles proudly announce that a first shipment of 165,225 metric tons of iron ore belonging to Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines Ltd. (CLM) left port today at 9:17 a.m. bound for China aboard the Navios Aurora. This marks a new maritime destination, joining the other international destinations that account for over 85% of port traffic. This first shipment is destined exclusively for CLM’s Chinese partner Wisco, located in Wuhan in the province of Hubei.
In the last few days, CLM has begun operating its new land-based storage facilities and an innovative ship-loading system that uses CSL’s Atlantic Superior self-unloading shuttle to load ships anchored in the Bay of Sept-Îles.
Just last December CLM started this major project at the port to develop over 20 hectares of Pointe-Noire by setting up a rail system and heavy duty iron ore handling equipment like tipplers, stacker-reclaimers, and a conveyor system. This work represented over $150 million in private investments and generated major economic spinoffs for the local economy in the form of various contracts.
“The successful completion of this project within seven months is a credit to the drive and determination of CLM and its entire team. This is an outstanding achievement. In just seven months, CLM was able to transform this sector into a world-class mining industry storage and handling site that was ready to begin operations,” said Port of Sept-Îles CEO Pierre D. Gagnon.
“With an initial shipping capacity of 8 million tons by late 2010, which will grow to 16 million tons following the expansion of their activities at Bloom Lake in late 2012, CLM is set to play a key role at the Port of Sept-Îles. The company is one of our major partners, and we want to provide them with the support and services they need for future growth,” added board chair Carol Soucy.
For Luc Dion, president of Développement Économique Sept-Îles, this project is a shining example of private enterprise and local socioeconomic partners working hand in hand. “CLM involved us from the start, allowing us to support and contribute to a project that showcases our region’s economic vitality. This project will provide major economic benefits for many years to come,” added Dion.
With a full range of high-performance equipment, the Port of Sept-Îles is North America’s leading iron ore port and will now become Canada’s second largest in terms of annual volume handled, with over 35 million tons.
Sept-Îles port facilities play a vital and strategic role in the operation of a number of businesses from the region’s primary sector. The port’s annual economic impact is estimated at nearly $1 billion, with some 4,000 direct and indirect jobs. Port activity at the Port of Sept-Îles therefore remains a significant source of wealth creation in Quebec and Canada.