The miner Champion and its subsidiary Minerai de fer Québec are interested in a new technology for manufacturing cold iron pellets that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If the research is decisive, then a plant could be built in Sabt El, on the northern shore.
Traditionally, iron pellets that are used to make steel are hardened at temperatures in excess of 1000 ° C. This process uses coal or fuel oil as an energy source and emits large amounts of carbon.
A European company is currently developing a technology to agglomerate iron ore without going through the high-temperature hardening phase.
Iron ore produced at the Plum Lake Mine by Minerai de fer Québec will be compatible with this technology, which, according to Champion, reduces carbon emissions by 95%.
Over the next few months, the mining company will explore its cold pellet manufacturing process by participating in industrial trials with its partner. If the research is critical, Champion can take this route.
The industrial sector from Pointe-Noire to Sept-les would be ideal for project implementation. Minerai de fer Québec is already a partner of the Pointe-Noire Railway and Port Company (SFPPN), which is a logistics hub through which the ore produced at the Plum Lake Mine passes.
“I will not hide from you that our equipment will arrive in September. There is a nice place and it is SFPPN which has a lot of ground. If we ever decide to implement a project in this direction, one of the possibilities is definitely pointe noire,” the CEO said. Champion David Cataford to TVA Nouvelles on the sidelines of the company’s financial results announcement on Thursday.
Even if no factory project is under consideration, SFPPN says it is very open to working with Champion in order to find space for him for his future developments. Can the old Cliff mining plant located in Pointe-Noire, which has been inactive for 8 years, be restarted thanks to this technology?
This scenario is unlikely given its extremely poor condition. Moreover, SFPPN is instead considering unbundling.
Minerai de fer Québec’s presence in SFPPN will increase over the next few years with Plum Lake Mine Phase II. More than a quarter of the $ 633 million required for this project has been spent. Ore de fer Québec will double its iron ore production when this project is completed in the summer of 2022. Annual production will be increased to at least 15 million tons per year.