Bloom Lake Iron Mine restart

The Bloom Lake project is the first major iron ore project in eastern Canada since the 1970s. In 2018, Iron Ore Québec restarted the iron mine, located about 13 km north of Fermont, Québec. The mining company wanted to maximize profitability, so it upgraded its concentration plant and recovery circuit and commissioned the 3.5 km conveyor to reduce iron ore movement and truck loading.

Client: Iron Ore Québec
Location: 13 km north of Fermont, Québec

OUR EXPERTS’ SOLUTIONS

BBA was involved from the outset of the restart project. The team was tasked with performing project control and procurement management as well as the detailed engineering to optimize the plant process. The team was also involved in operational readiness preparations by drafting commissioning methods and procedures.

This project presented many challenges because of its scope, tight deadlines and the many consultants involved, which made planning work and managing costs more complex.

  • Designed and identified engineering solutions with a consistent focus on compatibility with existing facilities 

  • Administered construction contracts

  • Quickly carried out project procurement

  • Optimized the tailings pumping system at low cost for significant savings on CAPEX investments for the restart

  • Replaced an ore chute that was over 30 m in height

  • Optimized the concentrator process to correct shortcomings the client knew about through previous experience at the plant

  • Designed a commissioning execution plan based on an innovative graphic approach, making the client 100% autonomous

  • Implemented a commissioning tool that provided the client with consistent system language among its workers

  • Ramped up concentrator production sooner than forecasted in the feasibility study

IN THE WORDS OF OUR CLIENT…

“BBA made many improvements that helped us optimize plant performance and significantly cut our operating costs. Thanks to BBA’s detailed block diagrams and procedures, our team found it easy to handle commissioning activities entirely on our own using the planned sequence. In the end, the mine restart came in on time and on budget!”

Alexandre Belleau, Minerai de Fer Québec

IN NUMBERS

  • The project’s mineral reserves are estimated at 411.7 million tonnes, with an average content of 30.0% Fe.
  • An average 7.4 million tonnes of concentrate will be produced every year—up by 1.5 million tonnes since the mine closure in 2014
  • Installation of 112 MT WW6 spirals and 32 up-current classifiers
  • Employs 450 people from all across the province in fly-in/fly-out mode

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