Champion Iron Confirms Bloom Lake Restart

The mine has been closed for three years.

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Champion Iron Mines (TSX:CIA,ASX:CIA) has confirmed that its Bloom Lake iron ore mine in Quebec will restart in March 2018.

The company announced the news on Thursday (November 16), and its share price was up 3.91 percent on the TSX and over 6 percent on the ASX as of 3:30 PST that day.

Bloom Lake will be operated through Champion subsidiary Quebec Iron Ore (QIO), and over 450 people will be hired for mine operations. Champion said the restart comes after raising $350 million from sources including the provincial government, which is a 36.8-percent partner in the project, as well as Sprott Resource Lending and the Caisse de depot pension fund manager.

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The firm released a feasibility study for Bloom Lake in February 2017, and has since hired over 250 workers. The mine is expected to produce 7.4 million tonnes of iron concentrate per year over a 21-year mine life. Its mineral reserves are estimated at 411.7 million tonnes with an average content of 30 percent iron. Production costs will average $44.62 per dry metric ton and concentrate costs will average $78.40 per tonne over the life of the mine, with total revenues of $15.1 billion.

“So today all the steps have been completed. Even though the challenges were huge and the amount of work colossal, our ambition and determination have always been the same: to restart this mine which has a high potential while respecting communities, the development of the region and Quebec’s economic interest,” said Michael O’Keeffe, executive chairman of the board and CEO of QIO and Champion.

He added, “[w]e really look forward to the operations phase, and are very happy to contribute to this new sense of pride within a community that we care very deeply about.”

QIO and the provincial government acquired Bloom Lake and a regional railway in 2016 from an affiliate of Cliffs Natural Resources, which has since changed its name to Cleveland-Cliffs (NYSE:CLF).

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Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Shaw, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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