The Quebec government has announced that it is investing another CAN $ 26 M for the revival of the iron mine Minerai de Fer Quebec, a company owned by Champion Iron Limited (TSX: CIA). This mine had been closed a few years earlier and sold at a loss. The official reopening is scheduled for the upcoming winter season, on February 2018. The re opening of the mine represents 450 direct new jobs for the Côte-Nord region.
This major project requires the help of the Quebec government again. Indeed, the province has already donated CAN $ 25 M to support the various projects related to the mine during the past years. Therefore, the Quebec funds have injected more than CAN $ 51 M so far for the project. However, the company estimates that the revival of the mine requires a total investment of over CAN $ 160 M. Thus, the government gave almost one-third of what was budgeted. These investments have enabled Ressources Quebec to acquire 36.8% of Minerai de Fer Quebec shares and approximately 10% of Champion Iron Limited shares.
Despite the large government investment, Champion Iron Limited ensures that production will become more profitable than ever. Through restructuring and renovations, the Bloom Lake mine claims to be able to support an annual production of 7 million tonnes of iron. Previously, the amount of iron extracted was struggling to exceed 6 million tons. According to Minerai de Fer Quebec, this capacity will ensure the mine a lifetime of up to 21 years.
Champion Iron Limited argues that the new structure promises good financial returns. The net present value before tax will be CAN $ 1,675 M, while the internal rate of return after tax is estimated at 33.3%. The company says it can guarantee total revenues of CAN $ 15 G over the life of the mine. It will be interesting to follow the progress of the mine recovery project to determine the feasibility or optimism of the owner company.
Journal de Québec. (November 16th, 2017). Fermont : Québec a injecté 51M$ dans la relance de la mine de fer du lac Bloom. Journal de Québec. From : http://www.journaldequebec.com/2017/11/15/quebec-accorde-21-millions–pour-relancer-la-mine-du-lac-bloom
RADIO-CANADA. (November 16th, 2017). Fermont : Champion relance la production de la mine de lac Bloom. Radio-Canada. From : http://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1067309/lac-bloom-finance-demarre-emploi
Minerai de Fer. (November 16th, 2017). Un projet de relance visionnaire, qui fait rayonner l’industrie québécoise du fer. Minerai de Fer. From : http://mineraiferquebec.com/le-projet/
Le Soleil. (November 16th, 2017). Le nouveau propriétaire de la mine du lac Bloom optimiste. Le Soleil. From : https://www.lesoleil.com/affaires/le-nouveau-proprietaire-de-la-mine-du-lac-bloomoptimiste-3239484de9712cf17ce9ba2c4fe37c41