Canadian miner Labrador Iron Mines (LIM) is progressing work on Stage 2 of its planned direct shipping ore mining operations, which involves the development of the Houston project, in Labrador, Quebec.
LIM chairperson and CEO John Kearney says this decision came in light of persistently stronger iron-ore prices over the last two years, as well as increased expressions of interest from potential offtakers seeking iron-ore supply.
To assist in getting development financing, LIM has engaged Roscoe Postle Associates (RPA), which is part of SLR Consulting, to complete an independent preliminary economic assessment (PEA) on the project to be used for consideration of financing options.
LIM says RPA has extensive expertise in geological, mining and metallurgical advisory and has worked on iron-ore projects in Canada and other parts of the world before.
The Houston deposit, and the Malcolm deposit in the area, are estimated to contain a combined measured and indicated resource of 40.6-million tonnes grading 57.6% iron.
The PEA, which should be complete before the end of the year, will focus on a higher-grade subset of this resource suitable for direct shipping using dry crushing and screening only.
LIM anticipates developing four openpits sequentially to produce an average of two-million tonnes a year of direct shipping iron-ore.
During the past several years, LIM conducted a variety of operational activities with the objective of preserving the assets of Houston, particularly around reclamation and rehabilitation of the Stage 1 mining operations, which have been in progressive reclamation since the termination of mining at the James mine, in 2014.
Last year, LIM nearly completed the rehabilitation of its Silver Yards plant site and, earlier this year, a rehabilitation programme of topsoil spreading with seeding and re-vegetation was undertaken.
LIM successfully completed its environmental regulatory requirements relating to rehabilitation of the Stage 1 James mine and associated Silver Yards site infrastructure, which paved the way for moving to Stage 2 and the development of the Houston project.