Tag Archives: Iron Ore Company of Canada

IOC to test government-backed hyperspectral core scanning technology

Advanced drill core imaging technology being developed by College of the North Atlantic (CNA) and trialled at Iron Ore Company of Canada’s (IOC) site in Labrador, Canada, has received federal and provincial government backing to the tune of C$4.5 million ($3.6 million).

The Government of Canada, together with the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, believe the “game-changing” tech being developed by CNA “will position the region as a global leader in the mining industry”, the CNA said.

Their investments, which come on top of support from IOC and Agnico Eagle Mines, are helping advance the development of a Hyperspectral Scanning Unit (HSU) currently at IOC’s site in Labrador City conducting its first drill core scans.

The HSU, CNA says, produces high-resolution drill core images that will give mining companies a better understanding of a region’s geology. The new technology will make drill core logging more accurate, improve exploration processes and increase the potential to discover new, lucrative mineral deposits, according to the college.

Liz Kidd, President and CEO, College of the North Atlantic, said: “This state-of-the-art technology – one of the most advanced, high throughput hyperspectral drill core scanning units available globally – aligns perfectly with the college’s vision to further expand and develop its applied research and innovation arm so that we can assist industry in achieving positive, breakthrough results in the mining sector.

“We are also excited that our graduates will benefit from the training associated with the HSU that, in turn, will provide meaningful long-term benefits for the province’s future workforce and lead the way in the advancement of hyperspectral technology for the mining sector. We are proud to play a major role in this initiative.”

Chantal Lavoie, Chief Operating Officer, IOC, said the company looked forward to testing equipment at its operations in Labrador West to make IOC an even “more efficient, competitive and sustainable business for generations to come”.

Guy Gosselin, Senior Vice President of Exploration, Agnico Eagle Mines, added: “Agnico Eagle is pleased to be part of this partnership and excited with the potential it represents for our industry. The mobile HSU, developed by CNA, is breakthrough and innovative technology that will bring more robustness to data analysis in a field traditionally based on human observation, while improving its consistency and quality. Ultimately, it will lead to increased exploration and potentially more discoveries, which is key for the future of our business.”

Rio’s IOC to supply high-grade iron ore for low-carbon steel feedstock project

Rio Tinto, Paul Wurth SA and SHS-Stahl-Holding-Saar GmbH & Co (SHS) have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the production of a low-carbon steel feedstock.

This partnership brings together a leading global miner, an international leader in the design and supply of engineering solutions for integrated steelmakers and one of Europe’s best-known steelmakers, Rio said.

The partnership will explore the viability of transforming iron ore pellets into low-carbon hot briquetted iron (HBI), a low-carbon steel feedstock, using green hydrogen generated from hydro electricity in Canada.

Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC), in which Rio Tinto holds a majority interest, will supply high-grade iron ore and expertise in mining, processing and pelletising. Paul Wurth brings expertise in plant building and process knowledge in the field of highly efficient hydrogen generation and MIDREX® direct reduction plants. SHS brings iron- and steelmaking expertise.

Rio Tinto’s significant presence in the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador makes Canada a natural location for the project, it said.

“Canada provides access to cost competitive hydro electricity, and proximity to key markets in Europe and North America,” the company said. “Transforming high-grade iron ore pellets into a low-carbon steel feedstock using green hydrogen, when processed in an electric arc furnace with carbon free electricity, has the potential to reduce significantly the carbon emissions associated with steelmaking.”

The parties will conduct a feasibility study into the potential development of industrial-scale low-carbon iron production in Canada, using the combined expertise of the three partners across the entire steel value chain. The feasibility study is scheduled for completion in late 2021, with an investment decision on a hydrogen-based direct reduction plant at industrial scale expected to follow thereafter.

IOC President and CEO, Clayton Walker, said: “This partnership is part of Rio Tinto’s climate strategy to pursue proactive and action-oriented partnerships to support the development and deployment of low-carbon technologies for hard-to-abate processes like steelmaking.

“We are absolutely committed to being part of the solution on climate change and to support our customers and other stakeholders in the steel value chain as the industry transitions to a low-carbon future.”

Georges Rassel, CEO of Paul Wurth SA, said: “By associating the different players of the metal production chain, we are confident to develop the most appropriate and efficient solutions for this challenging transition towards a carbon-neutral industry.”

Martin Baues, Member of the Board of Directors for Technology at SHS-Stahl-Holding Saar, said: “Dillinger and Saarstahl adopted a future-focused strategy with the motto ‘proactive, carbon-free and efficient’. Within this strategy, we have defined various options for the transformation to carbon-neutral steel production. The use of hydrogen in steel production is a key factor in reducing carbon emissions. This partnership can further help us to reduce our carbon emissions on the basis of this technology, while gaining important experience in using hydrogen in steel production.”