Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC)

Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC)

February 27, 2009 16:46 ET

IOC Ceases Efforts to Develop Sept-Iles Pelletizing Plant

MONTREAL, QUEBEC and SEPT-ILES, QUEBEC and LABRADOR CITY, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwire - Feb. 27, 2009) - Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) announces that, following a decision by its Board of Directors, it has ceased efforts to develop the Sept-Iles pelletizing plant.

"The decision has become necessary in the context of the global economic recession," said Terence Bowles, President and CEO, IOC. "We are experiencing an unprecedented drop in world demand for raw materials, including steel and iron ore. As a result, the Sept-Iles pelletizing plant restart project is no longer viable and we have decided not to proceed with it and concentrate on initiatives that can add more value."

Opened in 1973, the Sept-Iles pelletizing plant has been idle since 1981. It was partially refurbished during 2000-2001. The current decision will therefore have no impact on the number of IOC employees.

The pellet plant buildings will be kept intact for the foreseeable future, as they house important utilities that service IOC rail and port facilities. The dismantling and removal of processing equipment will commence shortly.

IOC is the largest manufacturer of iron ore pellets in Canada and its customer base covers North American, European, and Asian steel producers. The Company operates a mine, concentrator and pelletizing plant in Labrador City, Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as port facilities located in Sept-Iles, Quebec. It also operates a 418 kilometre railroad that links the mine to the port. IOC has approximately 2,000 employees, and its major shareholder and operator is the international mining group Rio Tinto, which has activities in more than 40 countries throughout the world.

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