IOC Luce Pit in winter

Iron Ore Company of Canada

Iron ore pellets & concentrate

Product

2,877

Employees

16.6Mt

Production

58.7%

Ownership

1949

Started

2021 figures

Quebec, Newfoundland & Labrador

The Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) operations are integrated across a mine and processing plant in Labrador City, Newfoundland and Labrador; a port and stockpile in Sept-Iles, Quebec; and a 418 kilometre railway that joins these two parts of the operation.

IOC is a joint venture between Rio Tinto (58.7%), Mitsubishi (26.2%) and the Labrador Iron Ore Royalty Income Corporation (15.1%).

Decarbonising our operations at IOC

Steel-making currently contributes 8% of global carbon emissions. So at IOC, we’re working to reduce our operational footprint while producing iron ore that helps to reduce emissions as a feedstock for steel production.

At IOC, we produce high-grade, low-impurity iron ore – an essential raw material for new iron-making technologies, including the evolving green steel market.

The way we produce our iron ore also helps decarbonise our operations. IOC operates near hydroelectric power, meaning much of our energy use is renewable. We’re also electrifying our steam generation plant and exploring ways to repower our trucks and trains with more renewable fuel sources.

Research and development are a key part of our race to decarbonise too. We’re trialling a plasma burner in one of our furnaces – the first of its kind, which could help us eliminate heavy fuel oil (bunker-C) from the pelletizing process. Through lab-based trials, we are also researching ways to use cold-bonding technologies, and substituting coke breeze with organic carbon sources and other non-carbon-based fuels. And we’re collaborating with industry partners such as Salzgitter to use green hydrogen to work towards zero-carbon iron production.

  • Older pit at IOC
    Mines
    One mine in Labrador City with five operational pits with significant deposits for the supply of high-grade iron ore products
  • Truck convoy at IOC
    Processing
    Our processing centre includes a concentrator and a pellet plant allowing us to transform our ore into high grade iron ore products
  • Port facility at IOC
    Ports
    One port facility in Sept-Iles from where our products are shipped to customers around the world
  • Train running past meadow
    Rail network
    We operate a wholly-owned 418 km railway, the Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway (QNS&L) that links our Labrador operations to our port facilities in Sept-Iles

Innovation at IOC

Our team continually innovates to improve safety and production, using tools such as data analytics, decision-making support, and automation to drive growth and productivity.

The fully integrated operation at IOC is supported by two operations centres in Labrador City and Sept-Iles that allows us to ensure our mine, processing operations, port and rail system work together efficiently to achieve maximum productivity.

The rail network is the link between the two parts of our operation and all of our rail traffic is managed in real time using state-of-the-art technology and the latest computing, railway communications and signalling protocol technologies.

One of the trains at IOC

Dispatchers

Our dispatchers have a full view and control of all rail traffic helping to support the safe, reliable and smooth running of our trains and in turn of our integrated operation.

The mining industry is continuing to grow and evolve, so effective utilisation of our assets is critical for us to remain competitive, reach our full potential and lay a solid foundation for our future.

We have recently added a concentrator, pellet plant and blast hole driller to the automated assets controlled from our Operations Centre in Labrador City. In 2023, we will also add automated dozers and excavators.

Research and development

Innovation is essential to remain competitive in a changing market. So we’ve established an evolving R&D portfolio at IOC that’s already achieved many advances.

We’ve used R&D to improve our iron ore recovery and production by upwards of 10%.

We’ve also formed close relationships with best-in-class universities, government labs, and startups to assess new technologies that can increase production while reducing operating costs. Our most recent partnerships include research and trials conducted with COREM, College of North Atlantic (CNA), and Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) to challenge current processes and make more informed and timely decisions.

Latest IOC releases

Moss pit at IOC
Moss pit opened in 2018

Building a better future together 

Together with the Innu communities of Uashat mak Mani-utenam and Matimekush-Lac John in Quebec, Canada, we signed a new partnership agreement called “Ussiniun” in December 2020. 

IOC, Canada

More

In the Innu language, the word “ussiniun” means “renewal.” Through this partnership, we will build a stronger future together – supporting local education, jobs, the environment, and work to preserve the unique customs and cultural practices of both communities.

Contact IOC

Train running past meadow

IOC

1 Retty Street
Sept-Îles Quebec G4R 3C7
Canada

T: +1 418 968 7400