Mineral exploration in Newfoundland and
Labrador is projected to top $79 million for 2006, a
significant increase over the previous year.
Indications suggest the strength of the province’s
mineral industry will continue into 2007.
The Newfoundland and Labrador mining and
exploration industry is valued in excess of $2.6 billion
and provides the equivalent of more than
3,450 full-time jobs. Under the Mineral Incentive
Program, government funding has increased by 55
per cent this past year, to help foster growth to
meet current global demands. As well, the budget
of the Geological Survey Division was expanded
this year by $500,000, helping to increase basic
research to stimulate and manage development of
mineral resources and attract new investment
while providing geoscientific support for ongoing
The mining industry in Newfoundland and
Labrador produces more than a dozen mineral
commodities, including aggregates, iron, limestone,
nickel, granite, and copper wire. Over the past five
years, the value of the province’s mineral shipments
increased by 244 per cent to a forecast of approximately
$2.59 billion for 2006, up from $1.42 billion
There are 144 exploration companies active in the
province, suggesting future operations. The forecasted
claims in good standing were for 140,000 in
2006, up from 88,546 in the previous year. This will
result in expenditures of $50 million in Labrador and
$33 million in Newfoundland.
Atlantic Minerals Limited operates limestone and
dolomite quarries at Lower Cove on the Port au Port
Peninsula. Product from the modern 2 million tonne
per year processing plant and deepwater shiploading
facilities are sold to the iron ore industry in Labrador
and Quebec, and exported for various chemical and
industrial uses. Total shipments
are forecasted to increase to 1.7
million tonnes for 2006.
In the St. George’s Bay area,
Galen Gypsum Mines Limited is
forecasting an increased tonnage
of 65,000 tonnes of gypsum
Peat moss processing company
Hi-Point Industries has
developed its Island Pond bog
near Gander Bay highway and is
expected to begin small-scale
production this year.
Hurley Slate Works Company
ships roofing slate and flagstone
from their slate mine and plant in
Britannia Cove/Nut Cover, Trinity
Bay, and forecasted an employment
increase this past year from
46 to 56 employees.
The Iron Ore Company of Canada Ltd is a longtime
producer in Labrador and will continue to be for
the coming years at their mine, concentrator, and pellet
plant at Carol Lake.Annual mine production at the
open pit operation is in the 35 to 38 million tonne
range, at an average grade of about 40 per cent total
iron.With strong market demand, the shipment forecast
for 2006 was estimated at 16.2 million tonnes.
Onsite employment is around 1.350 people.
IOC mines its own dolomite for making fluxed pellets in Labrador West. The Leila-Wynn quarry is
expected to close in 2007, to be replaced by the
Plateau dolomite quarry. Estimates are that Plateau
will produce 200,000 tonnes per year over a 20-year
life.Drilling has already commenced, and quarrying is
projected to begin in late 2007.
Shabogamo Mining & Exploration Limited has a
contract to supply quartzite to Bécancour Silicon in
Quebec from its Roy’s Knob quartzite deposit near
Labrador City. Shipments in 2006 are estimated at
Torngait Ujaganniavingit Corporation, a subsidiary
of the Labrador Inuit Development Corporation,
expects to quarry around 600 cubic metres of
anorthosite at Ten Mile Bay near Nain this year, down
from 2005 levels due to the strengthening Canadian
dollar and increased fuel costs.
Voisey’s Bay Nickel Company Limited forecasted
2006 shipments of nickel contained in concentrate to
be approximately 56,000 tonnes, 35,000 tonnes of
copper contained in concentrate, and 900 tonnes of
cobalt contained in concentrate. Exploration activity
is ongoing and producing results. Last January,VBNC
announced a change to the proposed processing
plant site from Argentia to one at Long Harbour.
However, the Minister of Environment and
Conservation concluded there are potential environmental
effects, so VBNC must prepare an
Environmental Impact Statement.
Wabush Mines currently operates a mine and concentrating
plant at Wabush and a pellet plant and
shipping facilities in Point Noire, Quebec. This year’s
shipments were forecasted at approximately 5.3 million
A number of projects are in the development
stages throughout the province. Anaconda Gold
Corp’s Pine Cove Gold deposit in Baie Verte has submitted
documents required by the Mining Act, and is
projecting a mine life of 15 years, for a total production
of 206,468 ounces.
Atlantic Barite Limited is reactivating the Buchans
Barite plant and expected to begin commercial production
in 2006, for a mine life of 15 to 20 years.
Aur Resources Inc.’s Duck Pond project in Central
Newfoundland has proven reserves of 4.1 million
tonnes at an average grade of 3.3% copper, 5.7% zinc,
59 g/t silver and 0.9 g/t of gold. Production was projected
for late 2006 at this underground operation,
expected to produce 1,800 tonnes per day.
Near Glenwood, Beaver Brook Antimony Mines
Inc. is currently exploring financing arrangements to
reopen their mine. Meanwhile, Freeport Resources
Inc. continues to evaluate and conduct research for
the garnet sands in their Hutton beaches deposit.