Fonds de solidarité FTQ has provided an unsecured loan of up to C$75 million to Quebec Iron Ore, an affiliate of Montreal-based Champion Iron, an ore exploration and development business. The loan’s proceeds will support the expansion of the Bloom Lake Mine by Quebec Iron Ore and contribute to reducing steelmaking emissions.
MONTRÉAL, Aug. 19, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – To support the expansion plans for the Bloom Lake Mine and contribute to reducing steelmaking emissions, Fonds de solidarité FTQ has granted an unsecured loan of up to $75 million to Quebec Iron Ore Inc. (“QIO”), a subsidiary of Champion Iron Limited.
QIO owns and operates the Bloom Lake Mining Complex (“Bloom Lake”), located on the south end of the Labrador Trough, approximately 13 km north of Fermont, Québec, adjacent to other established iron ore producers. Bloom Lake produces one of the world’s highest-quality iron concentrates and enables steelmakers to significantly reduce their carbon footprint. Currently under construction, Phase II of the Bloom Lake expansion project will allow QIO to double its annual production capacity to 15 million tonnes and meet global demand for high-grade iron ore. Operations at the Phase II expansion project are expected to begin in mid-2022.
Mr. Dany Pelletier, Executive Vice President, Investments, at the Fonds de solidarité FTQ said “The Bloom Lake development will have a structuring effect on the Côte-Nord and all of Québec, thanks to Quebec Iron Ore’s experienced and qualified management team that identified measures to be taken to relaunch the mine. Phase II of the expansion project, which will require purchasing new mining equipment and building a second processing plant, will create over 400 permanent quality jobs and have a positive impact on the region for years to come.”
Quebec Iron Ore Inc.’s President, Mr. David Cataford, said “We are fortunate to have partners like Fonds de solidarité FTQ who share our vision of sustainability and responsible environmental management as we reduce global steel-making emissions with our high-grade iron ore products. We are proud of the positive impact created by our Company following the commissioning of Bloom Lake in 2018, which secured over 500 quality jobs for remote regions of Québec. This financing by the Fonds demonstrates local support for our Company by participating in its growth trajectory with the ongoing Bloom Lake Phase II expansion project and participate in the economic expansion of the region by creating additional permanent quality jobs.”
About the Fonds de solidarité FTQ
The Fonds de solidarité FTQ invests to build a better society by channelling the savings of its 723,501 shareholders into development and risk capital investments to help Québec transition to a green economy, to a human-centred world of work, and to a healthier society. The Fonds offers businesses unsecured financing and strategic support. With $17.2 billion in net assets as at May 31, 2021, the Fonds has supported 3,437 partner companies and 247,612 jobs.
About Champion Iron Limited and Quebec Iron Ore Inc.
Champion Iron Limited, through Quebec Iron Ore Inc. owns and operates the Bloom Lake Mining Complex, located on the south end of the Labrador Trough, approximately 13 km north of Fermont, Québec, adjacent to other established iron ore producers. Bloom Lake is an open-pit truck and shovel operation with a concentrator, and it ships iron ore concentrate from the site by rail, initially on the Bloom Lake Railway, to a ship loading port in Sept-Îles, Québec. The Bloom Lake Phase I plant has a nameplate capacity of 7.4 Mtpa and produces a high-grade 66.2% Fe iron ore concentrate with low contaminant levels, which has proven to attract a premium to the Platts IODEX 62% Fe iron ore benchmark. In addition to Quebec Iron ore’s partially completed Bloom Lake Phase II expansion project, Champion also controls a portfolio of exploration and development projects in the Labrador Trough, including the Kamistiatusset iron ore project located a few kilometres south east of Bloom Lake, and the Fire Lake North iron ore project located approximately 40 km south of Bloom Lake. The Company sells its iron ore concentrate globally, including to customers in China, Japan, the Middle East, Europe, South Korea, India and Canada.