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The Port of Sept-Îles back in second place among Canadian ports with record volume in 2023

SEPT-ÎLES, January 22, 2024 – At its recent New Year cocktail party, the Port of Sept-Îles revealed that it had reached an all-time high with 36.6 million metric tons of cargo handled at its facilities in 2023. The previous record was set in 1979 with 34.9 million metric tons.

“This new milestone is of national significance and makes the Port of Sept-Îles one of the leading ports in the country,” said Pierre D. Gagnon, President and CEO of the Port of Sept-Îles. “Thanks to this new record, we have proudly reclaimed second place among Canadian ports in terms of annual volume of operations, ahead of the Port of Montréal and behind Vancouver. We have also reaffirmed our status as the largest mineral port in North America.”

New momentum

The Port of Sept-Îles experienced new momentum in 2023, including an overhaul of its mission statements, vision, values, and strategic priorities. Numerous community stakeholders were involved in the process that led to these changes.

To guide future development and with the intention of opening a dialogue with the community, in October 2023 the Port of Sept-Îles also launched an online public consultation entitled “Ré-imaginez le cœur de Sept-Îles” (Re-imagine the Heart of Sept-Îles). This innovative approach to collecting development ideas for the harmonization of riverfront spaces in the lower town was a great success: 6,819 participants, 55 projects submitted, and 748 votes on the specially designed platform.

“We would like to thank all the stakeholders and citizens who participated in our two consultation processes. Your contribution is essential to guide the future development of your Port. With 2024 marking the 25th anniversary of the port authority’s autonomy, we can get the next quarter century off to a strong start thanks to a transparent and sustainable connection with our communities,” said Pierre D. Gagnon and Bernard Lynch, Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Stronger together

In 2023 and with the support of the Government of Québec, economic players in the region, namely the Port of Sept-Îles and the economic development corporations of Sept-Îles and Port-Cartier, were able to proceed with the consolidation of Port-Cartier-Sept-Îles industrial port zones (PCSI IP zone promo video). The creation of this large new area will help make certain sectors with strong industrial potential more attractive to developers worldwide, especially in the global context of energy transition and opportunities related to decarbonization.

“Considering that the maritime activity of the industrial port zone of Port-Cartier-Sept-Îles represents 50% of the total operations on the St. Lawrence River as well as 15% of the commercial value of Québec’s annual exports, it goes without saying that we have a world-class industrial ecosystem that we must promote on a large scale,” said Pierre Gagnon.


The current interest of major steel companies in high-purity iron from the Labrador Trough to accelerate the iron industry’s decarbonization efforts is also a unique opportunity.

International developers are already targeting the region as a base for their green projects.

“We have all the right assets to allow our iron products to be processed locally and to shift towards the production of green steel here in the region. Now more than ever is the perfect time for all socio-economic players in the region to support everything that needs to be done to make the most of these unmissable opportunities!” said Pierre Gagnon and Bernard Lynch.


Boasting diverse, state-of-the-art facilities, the Port of Sept-Îles is North America’s largest ore-handling port, with a projected volume for 2024 of more than 40 million metric tons. It is also recognized as the largest primary aluminum port terminal in the Americas in terms of operational volume. The facilities at the Port of Sept-Îles play a vital and strategic role in the economy of Eastern Canada. The Port is also deeply committed to sustainable development and has pioneered the first environmental observatory on the St. Lawrence to monitor the marine ecosystem as well as a research chair with Université Laval to study coastal ecosystems and port operations.


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Frédérick Tétreault, Communications and Public Relations Director
Port of Sept-Îles