The shut­ters are off

Af­ter be­ing closed for four years, the Scully mine in Wabush is open­ing for busi­ness

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

There were wall to wall smiles at the of­fi­cial an­nounce­ment stat­ing that the Scully mine in Wabush was once again open for busi­ness.

The mine closed on 2014, leav­ing close to 400 peo­ple with­out work. The im­pact on the econ­omy of Labrador West was ev­i­dent.

Dur­ing the past four years ef­forts to get the mine re­opened in­volved a lot of ne­go­ti­a­tions with gov­ern­ments, com­pa­nies and many agen­cies.

Fi­nally in July 2017 Ta­cora Re­sources an­nounced they had closed ne­go­ti­a­tions to ac­quire the as­sets of the for­mer Wabush Mines.

Many won­dered if the com­pany would get the re­quired fund­ing to re­open. A new fea­si­bil­ity study up­date was re­leased in May of this year and in Novem­ber it was of­fi­cial.

Ta­cora Re­cources CEO Larry Le­hti­nen said the finances are in place—ap­prox­i­mately $335 mil­lion in to­tal—and hir­ing is about to start.

Le­hti­nen told those gath­ered for the an­nounce­ment the com­pany is pleased fi­nanc­ing is in place, and thanked the many peo­ple in­volved in get­ting the mine to the point it is able to open. He pointed out the ef­forts of po­lit­i­cal lead­ers in New­found­land and Labrador, Que­bec and fed­er­ally, the Steel­work­ers Union, the Port of Sept Iles and their long-term eq­uity in­vestors.

Premier Dwight Ball said, “This will mean the re­turn of good, long-term jobs to the area and shows the ben­e­fits of min­ing to the prov­ince.”

Le­hti­nen said they will need about 260 work­ers. He also an­nounced that Bob Gagne was selected as gen­eral man­ager of the mine. Gagne has sig­nif­i­cant ex­pe­ri­ence in the min­ing in­dus­try in Labrador and Le­hti­nen noted that’s im­por­tant to the com­pany’s op­er­a­tion.

When fully op­er­a­tional the com­pany is look­ing to pro­duce 6 to 6.5 mil­lion tons of ore per year. Le­hti­nen said the ore at Wabush is high qual­ity with a con­tent of about 65 per cent.

Le­hti­nen also high­lighted Ta­cora Re­sources de­ci­sion to in­stall man­ganese sep­a­rat­ing equip­ment.

The cur­rent life ex­pectancy of the mine is 25-27 years, but Le­hti­nen says they think there is more ore there and they in­tend to do what they can to ex­tend the life of the mine.

Labrador West MHA and Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs and En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Gra­ham Letto thanked Ta­cora Re­sources for the com­mit­ment they showed through­out the process. He says the news is great for Labrador West. Be­sides the di­rect jobs there are many spin-off jobs for sup­pli­ers and ser­vice in­dus­try work­ers.

Labrador MP Yvonne Jones said Labrador West is the largest ex­port re­gion for iron ore in Canada, and the re­open­ing in Wabush will re­in­force that position.

For Wabush Mayor Ron Bar­ron the news marks the end of four dif­fi­cult years for the town and its res­i­dents.

Many peo­ple were out of work, busi­nesses closed or slowed down, peo­ple had to leave their fam­i­lies to find work, and the town lost sig­nif­i­cant in­come that was de­rived from Cliff’s Nat­u­ral Re­sources grant in lieu of taxes.

Bar­ron told The Aurora, “De­spite that, I was op­ti­mistic that some­day the mine would re­open. We have good ore, skilled peo­ple, and a great com­mu­nity that will shine once again. We can breathe eas­ier now.”

Also present for the an­nounce­ment was the pres­i­dent of the Labrador West Cham­ber of Com­merce, Toby Leon.

“We are ex­cited about the news,” Leon said. “We saw lights on there for months but there was spec­u­la­tion as to when the mine would start. Now we know it’s June.

“This is great for the lo­cal econ­omy. I know one Cham­ber mem­ber who hired a man­ager based on this news.”

Colin Vardy, for­mer Wabush mayor and now busi­ness op­er­a­tor, knows the strug­gles it took to get the mine back in op­er­a­tion. He says this puts a very pos­i­tive spin on the town of Wabush, and he says given the news he just hired an­other em­ployee.

Ta­cora Re­sources is now ac­cept­ing re­sumes. Full in­for­ma­tion on jobs and the process to ap­ply can be found at www. taco­raresources.com. Ta­cora Re­sources CEO Larry Le­hti­nen, as he an­nounces the re­open­ing of the Scully mine in Wabush and ex­plains their plans. Bob Gagne of Labrador West is the new gen­eral man­ager of the Wabush mine.

MIKE POWER-SPE­CIAL TO THE AURORA

Dig­ni­taries were on hand for the an­nounce­ment that the Scully Mine in Wabush would re­open. From left, Innu Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment Cen­tre man­ager Cle­men­tine Kuyper, Labrador West MHA and Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs and En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Gra­ham Letto, Premier Dwight Ball, Ta­cora Re­sources CEO Larry Le­hti­nen, Nat­u­ral Re­sources Min­is­ter Siob­han Coady, Labrador MP Yvonne Jones and Wabush Mayor Ron Bar­ron.

MIKE POWER-SPE­CIAL TO THE AURORA

MIKE POWER-SPE­CIAL TO THE AURORA

For­mer Wabush mayor, now busi­ness per­son, Colin Vardy, says af­ter four years of clo­sure the news of Wabush Mines open­ing is a big boost to the peo­ple and busi­nesses of the area.

MIKE POWER-SPE­CIAL TO THE AURORA

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