LABRADOR CITY, N.L.
While Alderon’s Kami Project was announced more than five years ago and then shelved after a slump in the iron ore industry, the company is now ready to restart the project.
Alderon CEO Tayfun Eldem explained the plans during a recent presentation to the Labrador West Chamber of Commerce.
“China is still a major source of demand for high quality ore. The country is making an effort to reduce emissions from steel mills,” said Eldem.
“They have built more efficient mills and know top grade ore with low levels of contaminants works well.”
He noted that costs go down when high quality ore is used.
“This makes ore in the Labrador trough very appealing, and for that reason we think this is the right time to relaunch the project.”
Eldem also said it’s expected that global use of ore will stabilize and there will be a steady demand for premium high-quality ore.
The company’s next step is obtaining the billion-dollar financing to get the project off the ground.
Eldem had left Alderon for a while, but is now back with the company.
“I returned as I think this is the right time for the project, and given the interest in China and their initiatives to clean things up, I believe finding that money will be easier now,” he said.
Some project details have already been worked out, permits have been completed and parts of the mine’s infrastructure have been ordered.
“A lot of the work for this project has already been done,” Eldem said.
At the presentation, Eldem introduced Wayne Zhou, Canadian division president of HBIS Group Co. HBIS is currently the largest steel producer in China – and has a 25 per cent stake in the Kami Project. Also introduced was David Li, Alderon’s vice-president of Asia Pacific affairs.
Eldem told chamber members there is also strong interest from Japan in the Alderon Project, and he hopes the most recent feasibility study and the renewed interest will spur investors to move.
If financing is approved, Eldem says work could start early in 2019.