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Champion Iron secures $180m financing to restart iron ore project in Canada

EBR Staff Writer Published 17 July 2017

Champion Iron has secured a debt financing of $180m from la Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Sprott Resource Lending to restart the production at the Bloom Lake Iron Ore Mine in Canada.

The mine located near Fermont in Québec province will be operated by Champion Iron’s subsidiary Québec Iron Ore.

According to Champion Iron, the new financing will help it partially finance the costs of resuming the operations at the mine. It adds to the C$40m ($31.6m) debt and equity bridge financing arranged by the company for its subsidiary in May.

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec executive vice-president Christian Dubé said: “The innovative restart strategy put forward by the management team, Sprott's vast mining expertise, the quality of the assets and the current market conditions have all come together to bring this mining project to a new level.

"This transaction is aligned with our mining strategy in Québec, which aims to support businesses in this sector at all stages of development, from mineral exploration to the start of operations."

Earlier this year, a feasibility study was carried out for the iron ore mine which demonstrated the financial viability of the mining operations. Having got the required financing, Champion Iron is now looking to restart the iron ore mine as early as the first quarter of next year.

Champion and QIO chairman and CEO, Michael O'Keeffe said: “We are pleased to be working with the teams at both Caisse and Sprott and look forward to bringing Bloom Lake back into production, which would benefit not just Champion, QIO and its shareholder and investor base, but also the many local and regional interests as we establish ourselves as a significant player in the Labrador Trough."

The Bloom Lake Project’s mineral reserves have been estimated at 411.7 million tonnes at an average grade of 30.0% iron. While the total costs for the project are around C$326.8m ($258.15m), the revenue expected to be generated over the lifetime of the mine is C$15.1bn ($11.9bn).