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Baffinland Iron Arctic iron ore mine project reaches milestone

Steel News - Published on Tue, 25 Sep 2012

Reuters reported that even though regulators should clear a massive iron ore project in Canada\'s far north by early next year, a decision on whether to move ahead may hinge on clear signals that global steel demand is pulling out of its current funk.

The Mary River project, owned by a subsidiary of steelmaker ArcelorMittal, was given the green light late last week by regulators in the territory of Nunavut after a four year environmental review.

The approval is the first major milestone for the challenging development, located in a remote and environmentally sensitive region of the Canadian Arctic.

Mr Tom Paddon CEO of Baffinland Iron Mines said that \"It\'s fair to say that this is the most important step towards development that has occurred. But it is just that an important step.\"

At present, economic trends appear to be working against the ambitious Arctic project. Iron ore prices have tumbled since 2011, hitting a near three year low earlier this month as steelmakers struggled with the debt crisis in Europe and a slower pace of expansion in China.

With demand for steelmaking materials set to grow at a slower pace than previously, miners around the world are scaling back expansions and shelving higher cost projects.

Still, the bleak near term outlook for iron has not slowed activity at Baffinland. The Toronto company is pushing ahead with a feasibility study and pre construction work in Nunavut.

Considered one of the richest undeveloped iron ore deposits in the world, the Mary River mine is expected to produce up to 30 million tonnes a year, or the equivalent of more than 80% of Canada\'s current total output.

But to get the project up and running, Baffinland will have to build the Arctic\'s largest open pit mine, along with support infrastructure, including a port and railway, all of which is expected to cost at least USD 4 billion.

Source - Reuters


Posted By : admin on Tue, 25 Sep 2012
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