Ta­cora pro­vides op­er­a­tion up­dates

Labrador West Cham­ber of Com­merce mem­bers at­tend pre­sen­ta­tion from min­ing com­pany

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - Front Page - BY MIKE POWER

The keen in­ter­est in see­ing Wabush mines up and op­er­at­ing was ev­i­dent at the most re­cent meet­ing of the Labrador West Cham­ber of Com­merce.

Close to 70 mem­bers and guests at­tended a meet­ing that fea­tured a pre­sen­ta­tion from two key Ta­cora ex­ec­u­tives, Mike Twite, man­ager of en­vi­ron­ment and gov­ern­ment af­fairs, and Joe Nielsen, gen­eral man­ager of ore op­er­a­tions.

As the pre­sen­ta­tion started, Twite ex­plained the ore mined at Wabush has an ad­van­tage over ores pro­duced in some ar­eas of the world be­cause it is a higher grade ore. He said lower grade ores will mean more emis­sions in the long run, some­thing many coun­tries like China are try­ing to avoid.

Twite also said the op­er­a­tion re­ceived an­other boost re­cently when Cargill — which had en­tered a five-year agree­ment to buy their high grade con­cen­trate for five years — ex­tended that con­tract to six years.

“The Wabush op­er­a­tion is sus­tain­able for the long-term, given there is a bet­ter price for premium prod­uct, and we are look­ing at the po­ten­tial to fur­ther im­prove our prod­uct,” Nielsen then ex­plained.

He also told cham­ber mem­bers that they will not be pel­letiz­ing.

He noted that the man­ganese con­tent, which once was con­sid­ered a detri­ment, is not an is­sue as many peo­ple want ore with man­ganese to use as blends.

Over­all the com­pany is con­fi­dent with the fu­ture of the mine as they have an agree­ment with QNS and L for trans­port­ing ore, and an agree­ment with the port in Sept-Îles, Quebec for ship­ping.

As well they have picked up some equip­ment such as shov­els and drills. There is a longterm lease for equip­ment, and Ko­matsu has as­sured them that 10 haul trucks they need can be de­liv­ered when needed.

Ques­tions

Both Ta­cora of­fi­cials fielded ques­tions from cham­ber mem­bers.

Ac­cord­ing to Twite and Nielsen, the next ma­jor step for Ta­cora is to ob­tain the $120 mil­lion in eq­uity fi­nanc­ing, which they are con­fi­dent will hap­pen. They ex­plained that those things take time, but as­sured the cham­ber they would not have in­vested so much time and money if they weren’t con­fi­dent the project would go ahead.

Af­ter ap­proval, then the com­pany would as­sem­ble their key team — man­agers and depart­ment heads etcetera. Af­ter that they would de­ter­mine the num­ber of work­ers they would need.

It’s ex­pected the num­ber of union­ized and man­age­ment would be about 280.

The even­tual goal would be six mil­lion tons an­nu­ally, which they say will start with just over

PHO­TOS BY MIKE POWER/SPE­CIAL TO THE AURORA

Labrador West Cham­ber of Com­merce mem­bers lis­tened at­ten­tively to the re­cent Ta­cora pre­sen­ta­tion.

Mike Twite, man­ager en­vi­ron­ment and gov­ern­ment af­fairs with Ta­cora.

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