IOC's open pit mine project gets green light for development

Published on September 11, 2015
The Iron Ore Company of Canada’s Wabush 3 project was once a worry to local Labrador City groups, but now stakeholders feel positive about the upcoming changes and improvements.
Photo by Ty Dunham/The Aurora

The Iron Ore Co. of Canada’s (IOC) proposed Wabush 3 Open Pit Mine Project in Labrador has cleared the province’s environmental assessment process and been given a green light for development.

Derrick Dalley, minister of natural resources, said in a news release, “We look forward to the development of the proposed Wabush 3 Open Pit Mine Project in Labrador. Today’s release from environmental assessment is an important announcement for IOC and a great opportunity for Labrador West — a region that has experienced its share of highs and lows in the mining industry. We are optimistic that in the long term the combination of high quality iron ore resources, stable and dependable regulation and taxation, and low cost power will continue to sustain the iron ore industry and communities in Labrador.”

The project is estimated to generate over 2,400 person months of employment during the construction phase and will involve a variety of jobs of different durations, made up of a mix of contractors, sub-contractors and existing IOC personnel.

It will consist of an open pit containing 744 million tonnes of iron ore, an overburden storage area, a waste rock disposal pile, haulage roads, a pole line, a groundwater extraction system and a mine water collection, treatment and disposal system.

Keith Russell, minister for Labrador and Aboriginal affairs, said “This announcement is important for IOC’s future and more importantly the future for the people of Labrador west. Wabush 3 can add to the sustainability of Wabush and Labrador City,” he said. “The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador will always be there to facilitate, assist and do its part to maintain and build upon all the great communities in this province, in whatever way possible.”

Nick McGrath, MHA for Labrador west, also termed the project a significant announcement for the region. “This project will strengthen a straining economy, and will provide security, sustainability and job opportunities for the residents of Labrador West,” McGrath said.

IOC president and CEO, Kelly Sanders said the approval of the Wabush 3 Open Pit Mine Project is a milestone in IOC’s history and the provincial government and our community stakeholders have been partners in “our continued journey to increase sustainability.”

Sanders said Wabush 3 is a critical piece of IOC’s plan for the future, extending its mine life and providing ongoing employment within Labrador west — “some very good news in what continues to be a challenging time for the region of Labrador west.”

A copy of the Environmental Assessment Bulletin regarding the Wabush 3 Open Pit Mine Project is available at


A photo illustrating this story has been changed.