Rio Tinto IOC donates $3m to Cégep de Sept-Îles for research and training pavilion

Artistic rendering from Rio Tinto.

Rio Tinto’s Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) has donated C$4 million ($2.96m) over two years to the Cégep de Sept-Îles in Quebec, Canada for the construction of its new pavilion for training, research and innovation in the railway, industrial maintenance and energy intelligence industries.

The initiative is part of a collaboration between IOC and the local college through the RAIL Centre of Expertise, which IOC supported in 2021 with an investment of C$750,000 and the donation of equipment for student training.

The new partnership aims to strengthen Sept-Îles’ position as a centre of excellence for specialized training in the railway and Industry 4.0 sectors. Another goal is to increase the visibility and promotion of these training programs in local Indigenous communities, Rio said in a statement.

A cohort of IOC students will be formed to provide participants with employment opportunities immediately after graduation, fostering the full inclusion of all the region’s talent.

 “Since the 1950s, Rio Tinto IOC has been firmly rooted in the Sept-Îles community, and several generations of IOC employees have been trained at the Cégep de Sept-Îles,” IOC CEO Mike McCann said.

“We are delighted to support this leading educational institution offering specialized training programs on Quebec’s North Shore, and thereby foster the development of a highly qualified local workforce. Our aim is to keep contributing to the creation of quality jobs in sectors with bright futures and to the economic development of the region.”

“This new pavilion, to which our government has also contributed financially, is a valuable asset for the economic diversification of Quebec’s North Shore,” Kateri Champagne Jourdain, Minister of Employment and Minister Responsible for Quebec’s North Shore Region, added.

“It will accelerate research and innovation in promising sectors for the province of Quebec. I’d like to highlight the financial participation of Rio Tinto IOC, which once again demonstrates its commitment to our region. It also reinforces the Cégep de Sept-Îles as a true centre of excellence, particularly for specialized training in the rail industry.”

IOC operates the QNS&L Railway, a 418-kilometre rail line that transports the high-grade iron ore concentrate and pellets produced at its facilities in Labrador City to its port terminal in Sept-Îles, Canada. The QNS&L Railway alone employs roughly 450 people on the North Shore and in Labrador.