Mine operations return to normal as blockade ends

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Labrador Iron Mines states aboriginal leaders played role in ending barricade

Mining companies active in the iron ore-rich Labrador Trough are returning to normal operations with the end of a protest that included the blockade of a key route for mine workers moving to and from the Schefferville area.

The blockade on the Quebec-Labrador border led to mine staff living on the Schefferville side being instructed to stay home.

By the middle of last week, companies operating on the Labrador side of the border, including Labrador Iron Mines and New Millenium, reported scaling back select mine operations as a result.

The companies sent emissaries to meet with the aboriginal band councils in the Schefferville area to find out more about the purpose of the blockade and what could be done to resolve any issues relating to mining operations.

The protest action had reportedly not been sanctioned by the councils, but individual members of both the Innu Matimekush-Lac John and the the Naspaki Nation of Kawawachikamach were identified as establishing the barriers.

The protest action was ended Friday.

“As this was a collaborative effort by all parties, Labrador Iron Mines wishes to acknowledge Chief Real McKenzie of the Innu Matimekush-Lac John and Chief Louis Einish of the Naspaki Nation of Kawawachikamach, as well as their respective Band Councils, for their leadership, efforts and support during this time,” stated a Labrador Iron Mines news release, issued this morning.

The company statement notes there has been no impact to the company’s saleable iron ore production target for 2012, of two million tonnes.

“Labrador Iron Mines will continue to work with the residents of Schefferville and the local aboriginal groups to ensure open and honest dialogue to maintain long-term and mutually beneficial positive relationships with all stakeholders,” the release stated.

“Full-scale mining operations will now ramp up to a full production rate over the next few days and the exploration team has resumed its fieldwork program.”



Organizations: New Millenium

Geographic location: Schefferville, Quebec-Labrador, Labrador

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