Canada’s Quebec okays $1.2 billion phosphate mine
The Canadian province of Quebec has given Arianne (TSX-V: DAN) the go-ahead to build its $1.2 billion million Lac à Paul project phosphate rock project in a region best known for its iron ore mining.
The open-pit mine – the largest in Canada near an inhabited area – is expected to create 475 construction jobs and 375 permanent mining and processing positions, with commercial production expected to begin in 2019.
“There could not have been a better way to end the year for Arianne and the region as a whole," Jean-Sebastien David, Arianne's COO, said in a statement.
The first phosphorus showings at Lac à Paul were discovered, by accident, in 1997. But it was in 2008, after ore prices and global demand for fertilizer had increased, that Arianne made the necessary efforts to develop the project.
The company said it would now focus on securing financing for the construction phase.
The decision is good news for the port town of Sept-Îles, which had a major setback in January with the closure of the Bloom Lake iron ore mine. The shut-down was part of a plan by Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) to exit Eastern Canada, after taking a $6 billion charge on the mine related mainly to the ill-timed purchase of Bloom Lake, which was supposed to supply the then-booming Chinese steel market. Cliffs' also sold part of its struggling coal division.