ArcelorMittal gets nod for multibillion Arctic iron ore venture
Toronto: Facing hurdles in France, Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal on Tuesday got green light from Canada for its multi-billion dollar project to develop one of the world's largest iron-ore mines in the Baffin Island in the Arctic.
The local Nunavut Impact Review Board gave its final clearance to the project under which ArcelorMittal-led consortium will begin construction of the new iron-mine close to Arctic, CBC reported.
ArcelorMittal acquired the Mary River deposit in the Canadian Arctic last year in a USD 567.61 million deal as part of its new thrust to reach its long-term goal of nearly doubling its iron ore production, reducing dependence on miners such as Vale SA, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton.
ArcelorMittal will hold seventy percent stake in the Arctic venture with the rest to be shared by Australia's Iron Ore Holdings LP.
The 17,000-hectare mine and associated infrastructure, including a port and railway, is expected to cost between Canadian dollars 4-5 billion, with first production about five years after construction starts.
CBC said the Canadian board's decision was the culmination of a four-year assessment of the project, in which Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation plans to build a massive open-pit mine at its Mary River site about 160 kilometres south of Pond Inlet, Nunavut, along with a railway and port that would allow icebreakers to ship the ore through Arctic waters year-round.