Champion Iron to ramp down mining operations at its Bloom Lake Mine, further to the government of Québec’s COVID-19 containment directives
MONTRÉAL, March 24, 2020 – Champion Iron Limited (TSX: CIA) (ASX: CIA) (the “Company” or “Champion”) announces that it will ramp down operations at the Bloom Lake Mining Complex (“Bloom Lake”), following a directive from the Québec Government, which requires mining activities to be reduced to a minimum in the province of Québec, Canada, as of March 24, 2020, until at least April 13, 2020, in an effort to contain COVID-19.
With $187.5 million in cash and short-term investments as of the quarter ending December 31, 2019, the Company has substantial liquidity to withstand the period of reduced operations as mandated under the current directives from the government of Québec. Essential workers will remain on site to reduce mining activities to a minimum until governmental approvals are granted to resume normal operations. The Company had communicated its intentions to address its Phase II growth plans by the middle of the current calendar year. Given today’s announcement, the Company’s discretionary capital expenditure in connection to the Phase II expansion project have been suspended and the timeline to communicate further details on the Phase II plans will be postponed to a later time.
Champion CEO, Mr. David Cataford, said, “As requested by the Government of Québec, we will participate in the collective effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. With strong financial liquidity, our Company is in a resilient position and will take responsible actions to minimize the risk for our employees, partners and affected communities. Our operations have remained robust and we will implement procedures to enable normal operations to recommence as soon as possible upon receiving a directive from the Government.”
About Champion Iron Limited
On April 11, 2016, the Company, through its subsidiary Québec Iron Ore Inc., acquired the Bloom Lake assets from bankruptcy protection. Following the release of a feasibility study on February 16, 2017, the Company recommissioned Bloom Lake in February 2018, which completed its first shipment on April 1, 2018. In June 2019, the Company released a feasibility study for the Phase II expansion which envisions doubling the mine’s overall capacity from 7.4 Mtpa to 15 Mtpa. On August 16, 2019, the Company finalized the terms of an agreement with Ressources Québec Inc. whereby the Company acquired Ressources Québec’s 36.8% equity interest in Québec Iron Ore Inc. and now owns 100% of Québec Iron Ore Inc., which owns the Bloom Lake mine.
Located on the south end of the Labrador Trough, approximately 13 km north of Fermont, Québec, and adjacent to established iron ore producers, the Bloom Lake mine is an open‑pit truck and shovel operation with a concentrator. From the site, iron concentrate is transported by rail, initially on the Bloom Lake railway, to a ship loading port in Sept‑Îles, Québec.
This Press Release has been authorized for release to the market by the CEO of Champion Iron Limited, David Cataford.
For further information: Please Contact: Michael Marcotte, Vice‑President, Investor Relations, 514‑316‑4858, Ext. 128, email@example.com