Steel Products Prices North America

CRU: Rio Tinto Winds Down Iron Ore Ops in Canada Amid Wildfires

Written by CRU Americas

The Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) is starting to idle its mine, concentrator and pellet plant near Labrador City because of the impact of wildfires in Quebec province.


The actions follow the Rio Tinto-owned company suspending transport on its 418km Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway (QNS & L) linking the mine to the Sept-Iles port as fires rage in the Sept-Iles area. Smoke has engulfed vast areas, and the QNS & L railway operations will remain suspended until at least June 9, the company said.

Telecommunications infrastructure and the power line running alongside the track have been damaged and IOC has installed a temporary sprinkler system at a bridge and rail-side tower just north of Sept-Iles as a precaution.

“We have a certain capacity to stockpile up in Labrador City, but at a certain point, if we can’t bring product down to Sept-Iles, we just can’t stockpile forever,” a spokesman was quoted as saying by the Globe and Mail newspaper.

However, as IOC had scheduled its annual maintenance break in the coming days, the impact will be minimized, he also said.

Canada as a whole is experiencing what is regarded as its most destructive spring wildfire season ever, with 164 currently burning across Quebec alone and 114 of them are out of control, according to the provincial government.

Some mineral exploration companies have suspended activities. Oil, forestry and seafood are among other impacted industries.

Latest in Steel Products Prices North America