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Government announcement
March 26, 2018

The Quebec government unveils a major $280M investment plan for the Société Ferroviaire et Portuaire de Pointe-Noire


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$280M investment plan for the Société Ferroviaire et Portuaire de Pointe-Noire

SEPT-ÎLES, QC, March 26, 2018 — Today, Pierre Moreau, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Minister responsible for the Plan Nord and Minister responsible for the Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine region, announced a major investment plan of $280 million for the development of the Société Ferroviaire et Portuaire de Pointe-Noire (SFP Pointe-Noire) in Sept-Îles. This year, the Quebec government will contribute $30 million to the plan. This investment will make it possible to meet the growing needs of mining companies that wish to access the Pointe-Noire site in order to ship their ore by boat at a lower cost.

Mr. Moreau made the announcement in the company of Pierre Arcand, Chair of the Conseil du trésor and Minister responsible for the Côte-Nord region, and Jean D’Amour, Minister for Maritime Affairs and Minister responsible for the Bas-Saint-Laurent region.

More specifically, this plan provides investments of $30 million from the Government of Quebec beginning in 2018. The goal of this amount is primarily to connect all SFP Pointe-Noire transhipment infrastructure to the new wharf at Sept-Îles Port Authority (SIPA). The investment also covers environmental protection in the site’s development.

Mining companies that use the SFP Pointe-Noire infrastructure will make their contribution to the financial package of the investment plan totalling $280 million. The Quebec government has also requested a contribution from the Government of Canada for this plan in order to support the  development of Pointe-Noire, an integral part of Eastern Canada’s commercial corridor.

New conveyor

Minister Pierre Moreau also officially inaugurated SFP Pointe-Noire’s new conveyor, completed over the last few days at the cost of $15 million. The conveyor will make it possible to transport ore from the Bloom Lake mine to SIPA’s new multi-user wharf for loading.

Progress in the Mine Arnaud case

Mr. Moreau also confirmed two major breakthroughs in the Mine Arnaud case. An agreement was concluded between SFP Pointe-Noire and Mine Arnaud in order to secure the latter’s access to Pointe-Noire facilities, which will make the transhipment of apatite ore possible once the mine is in operation.

The minister also announced government funding of $2.5 million to allow Mine Arnaud to complete tests for the demonstration of its ore quality. These tests will be used to help in the search for investors. 

Quotes

With this investment plan, the Government of Quebec is strategically positioning itself to ensure the maximum economic development of Sept-Îles, Côte-Nord and all of Quebec. As a whole, this plan will allow us to modernize the Pointe-Noire facilities in order to best meet the mining industry’s needs, while ensuring benefits for Côte-Nord and all of Quebec. This will help us take a step towards achieving the Plan Nord and ensuring the sustainable northern development of Quebec.

– Pierre Moreau, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Plan Nord

The announcements made today mark a major milestone for Sept-Îles and Côte-Nord. The economic slowdown is clearly a thing of the past. The government’s choices have brought quick and major benefits to the region, without forgetting that the structure of SFP Pointe-Noire, based on a multi-user approach, optimizes on-site operations.

– Pierre Arcand, Chair of the Conseil du trésor and Minister responsible for the Côte-Nord region

SFP Pointe-Noire is a tangible example of the complementarity between the Plan Nord and the Maritime Strategy. The growth of activities at Pointe-Noire will significantly increase maritime traffic on the Saint Lawrence River. The site can now accommodate the largest of cargo ships or even smaller vessels that will travel elsewhere in Quebec or the Great Lakes.

– Jean D’Amour, Minister for Maritime Affairs and Minister responsible for the Bas-Saint-Laurent region

Key facts

  • Within the context of a remarkable recovery, the $280 million investment plan will make it possible to:
    • Respect environmental standards;
    • Modernize the infrastructure of the Wabush yard;
    • Implement necessary equipment for unloading trains;
    • Increase the capacity of conveyors;
    • Improve the interconnection of infrastructure;
    • Optimize access to wharfs.
  • The SFP Pointe-Noire’s shipment volume was 1 million tonnes of ore in 2017 and it will increase to almost 10 million tonnes in 2018. The goal is to be able to tranship over 40 million tonnes of ore by 2024.
  • The SFP Pointe-Noire will have close to 150 employees at the height of its operations in 2018. Hundreds of positions are currently filled at partner mining companies. Other development projects will bolster the creation of several hundred additional jobs over the next few years.

About the Plan Nord

The aim of the Plan Nord is to promote the mining, forestry, energy, social, cultural and touristic potential of the Quebec land situated north of the 49th parallel. It creates jobs and prosperity for northern communities and for all Quebecers, while respecting northern populations and the environment. By balancing the economic, social and environmental aspects upon which the Plan Nord is based, the Government of Quebec wishes to make it a model for responsible and sustainable northern development and a unifying project for Quebec society. The Société du Plan Nord is the organization responsible for its implementation.

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