Tuesday, February 12, 2013

CN suspends plans for iron ore range line

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
CN is suspending a feasibility study for construction of a proposed rail line and terminal handling facility to serve the Quebec/Labrador iron ore range.

CN, with partner La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec plus a group of six mining companies, initiated the feasibility study last August. “The study has been progressing steadily over the past several months,” CN said. “However, current market realities have resulted in anticipated delays with mine development projects in and around the Labrador Trough. A joint review of the project together with the mining companies indicates that mine construction schedules and diverging needs for each specific individual project will make it difficult to obtain the critical volumes of iron ore necessary to support the building of new rail and terminal infrastructure by CN.

“The decision by some miners in the region not to join the group of mining companies supporting our infrastructure project is also a factor in the much-lower-than-projected iron ore volumes that are now expected to be shipped in the foreseeable future.”

CN Executive Vice President and CFO Luc Jobin said, “We have invested considerable effort and resources towards the feasibility study, but in light of the circumstances, CN has concluded that it is not advisable to continue with the feasibility study at this time.”

Caisse President and CEO Michael Sabia added, “We understand that conditions in the global economy prevent undertaking the project at this time. As a long term investor, Caisse remains open to participating in infrastructure projects that will facilitate the development of Northern Québec, always in partnership with an experienced partner that can minimize the operational risks. We are convinced that the long-term structural trends in the global economy will be favorable to the development of Québec's natural resources sector.”