Wabush 3 is a new pit that will be developed within IOC's existing mine operations to extend the life of the mine, reduce operating costs and increase production of quality grade iron concentrates and pellets.
Clayton Walker, CEO and president of IOC, said: “This value-driven investment will deliver significant benefits for our business, employees and surrounding communities in Labrador West and Sept Iles for many years to come, by increasing the life of the mine and allowing us to offer continued employment opportunities. The Wabush 3 pit is IOC's best option to access low-cost, quality ore and provides a compelling opportunity to make our business more competitive by reducing operating costs during a period of increasing iron ore price volatility.”
The Wabush 3 pit will be developed adjacent to Luce pit. All key regulatory and environmental approvals are in place and construction is expected to start in the June quarter of 2017. First ore from production mining is expected in the second half of 2018, helping IOC ramp up capacity from 18Mt/y towards 23Mt/y.
Wabush 3 will be fully integrated into IOC's overall Labrador City operations, and will utilise its existing maintenance, ore delivery, processing and tailings management facilities as well as other aspects of IOC's current infrastructure and activities in the region.
IOC stated that it is committed to modernising its assets and operating model to achieve safer and more stable production, with the objective of being a lower cost producer of quality grade iron concentrates and pellets for the steel industry.