(Sept-Iles) Purchase of strategic infrastructure in the Pointe-Noire, in Sept-Iles, is undoubtedly “a major success” from year 1 of the Société du Plan Nord, argued Thursday CEO Robert Sauve.
Twenty workers are also hard at work to get back on track assets left by Cliffs Natural Resources and redeemed by the state in March, in the context of the legal liquidation of mining, to 66.75 million $. “The goal is that the equipment is available and operational by the end of summer,” confirmed Mr. Sauve.
“There are plenty of projects that are emerging on the territory of Pointe-Noire, and we are seeing how we can enable things,” he said in an interview to the Sun. “We want as quickly as possible to be able to receive clients and transshipment of ore or other products […] be ready to operate.”
Search for partners
The Societe du Plan Nord, who presented the results of its operations, working on the business model of the new rail and port Company of Pointe-Noire, the Partnership created as a result of the purchase of assets. The state seeks to establish partnerships with private players, future users of the facilities.
“We are in discussion and it continues regularly,” said Sauve. But impossible for the time to inquire about the progress of the talks. Minister Pierre Arcand has nevertheless already stated in our pages that Quebec was discussing, among others, Tata Steel Minerals Canada.
Champion Iron Limited, which comes to acquire the Bloom Lake mine, also confirmed to the Sun his interest in becoming user installations and to work on this with the government.
Quebec got its hands on the Cliffs of assets to prevent a private company does not compromise access to Pointe-Noire, key sector of the Plan Nord. Before the termination of operations, Cliffs challenged the use of the Arnaud Railway, the only one reaching new multi-user dock of the Port of Sept-Îles, 50% paid by mining.
For the Société du Plan Nord, it is already clear that the state will “always means to have a say” in the Partnership. “We will certainly remain a sponsor or an important partner because we want the equipment remains multiuser, open to all projects,” says the CEO.
Year 1 balance
The Société du Plan Nord drew the balance sheet of its first year of activity, which especially “permit the establishment of conditions essential to enjoy the next rise in the mining sector,” said Mr. Sauvé. The big boss has also highlighted the creation of four regional offices in the territory.
In one year, the number of Plan Nord Company employees increased from 14 to 45. “We are now fully operational,” he added. In 2015-2016, the Crown corporation, through its Fund Plan Nord initiatives, has extended $ 1.5 million in 22 projects that will generate $ 8 million investment.