NML's Investment in Tata Steel Minerals Cananda
NML has entered the iron ore market through participation in a direct shipping ore (“DSO”) project owned and operated by Tata Steel Minerals Canada (“TSMC”), under a joint venture agreement between NML and Tata Steel Global Minerals Holdings Pte Ltd. (“TSG”) dated November 6, 2009. TSMC is owned 94% by Tata Steel and 6% by NML.
The DSO Project features two fine ore product streams: A dry, crushed and screened ore with iron content (“Fe”) of approximately 60% that is produced seasonally, and a processed ore with approximately 64.5% Fe to be produced year round in a plant housed under a weather-proof structural dome.
Eventual production capacity is presently expected to total 6 million tonnes per year (“Mtpy”), comprised of 4.2 Mtpy of processed ore and 1.8 Mtpy of crushed and screened ore. There is potential to expand by developing additional resources, including from the Howse Deposit acquired by TSMC through related transactions in 2013 and 2015.
The logistics chain involves ore haulage over four railways as shown in the map below. The KéRail spur line connects the operating sites to the main lines, comprised of Tshiuetin Rail Transportation (“TSH”) and the Québec North Shore and Labrador Railway (“QNS&L”), and, at the southern end of the system, haulage is completed on chemin de fer Arnaud (“CFA”) to planned stockpiling and shiploading facilities on the Pointe-Noire side of the Port of Sept-Îles, where TSMC and NML are investors in a new, deep-water, multi-user dock.
The CFA line and land side facilities at Pointe-Noire were previously owned by Cliffs Natural Resources as part of its Canadian iron ore operations and, as announced in February 2016, are being acquired by the Québec Government through Investissement Québec and Société du Plan Nord.
Pending the resolution of issues related to access to the new dock, TSMC has been working under an interim stockpiling and ship loading arrangement via Iron Ore Company of Canada’s terminal at Sept-Îles.
As announced in early January 2016, TSMC has temporarily scaled down the DSO Project’s winter operations, including stabilization activities of the processing plant. This action is in response to presently challenging conditions in the steel and iron ore markets and is expected to be reviewed on an ongoing basis.
Historical and background information on the DSO Project can be found in the February 2011 DSO Feasibility Study Technical Report
DSO Project Rail Network
First Cargo - September 14, 2013
For further information on the DSO Project, please see the DSO Feasibility Study Technical Report.