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Champion Iron Ltd
Symbol CIA
Shares Issued 412,117,847
Close 2018-03-26 C$ 1.17
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Champion Iron prepares for first shipment of Bloom iron

2018-03-27 08:26 ET - News Release

Mr. Michael O'Keeffe reports

QUEBEC IRON ORE TO SHIP FIRST VESSEL OF HIGH QUALITY CANADIAN IRON ORE FROM SEPT-ILES TO ASIA

Quebec Iron Ore Inc. (QIO), a Champion Iron Ltd. subsidiary, has started preparation for the first shipment of Bloom Lake iron ore mine high-quality iron ore following the arrival of the MV Magnus Oldendorff at the Port of Sept-Iles on March 25, 2018.

The loading of the MV Magnus Oldendorff at the Pointe-Noire terminal completes a historic milestone for the company and the port of Sept-Iles as it represents the first vessel loading at the brand new terminal and also marks the inauguration of the new conveyor linking the stockyard to the new terminal.

The first shipment to Asia will comprise up to 200,000 wet metric tonnes of high-grade 66 per cent iron concentrate, part of the tonnage transported by rail to the port over the last month from QIO's Bloom Lake mine located near Fermont, Que.

The loading of the MV Magnus Oldendorff at the Pointe-Noire terminal completes a historic milestone for the company and the port of Sept-Iles as it represents the first vessel loading at the brand new terminal and also marks the inauguration of the new conveyor linking the stockyard to the new terminal.

For the company, this first shipment demonstrates QIO's ability to deliver high-quality product to global markets. As part of this capability, in addition to owning specialised railcars for the transportation of iron ore, Bloom Lake has access to a fully operational rail loop on site as well as access to substantial and modern rail and port storage and handling infrastructure between Fermont and Pointe-Noire.

The successful delivery of iron ore concentrate to the port this month, and the subsequent first shipment of the product to Asia, highlights QIO's efficient logistics strategy and confirms Bloom Lake's potential to become a major supplier of high-quality iron ore to global markets.

"The first vessel is being loaded almost one month ahead of our original schedule with a high-quality iron ore product fully in line with specifications and with our pilot plant testwork. This is evidence of the professionalism of all employees involved and the hard work of our stakeholders, as well as of the world-class potential of the project," stated executive chairman and chief executive officer of QIO and Champion, Michael O'Keeffe.

Mr. O'Keeffe further commented that the 200,000 wmt shipment to Asia of the Bloom Lake high-grade iron concentrate is being completed at a time where current iron ore prices of $71 (U.S.) per metric tonne for 62 per cent Fe are 25 per cent higher than the estimates of $56 (U.S.) per metric tonne used by the company in its original planning.

The first shipment is a positive start for a mine that is forecast to generate more than $15.1-billion in revenue over the next 20 years, underlining Bloom Lake's potential to be one of the region's leading long-life iron ore mines and a major contributor to both the Quebec and Canadian economies. The QIO logistics strategy ensures long-term access to some of the world's largest consumers of iron ore for Bloom Lake's high-quality product.

The decision to restart production at the Boom Lake mine was announced on Nov. 15, 2017, and operations recommenced at the plant on Feb. 16, 2018, ahead of schedule and within budget. With a capex (capital expenditures) of $326.8-million, including $157.2-million spent on upgrades ahead of the mine restart, Bloom Lake is a large-scale project which is set to bring about a new era of prosperity to Quebec's North Shore region.

About Quebec Iron Ore Inc.

Founded in 2016 by the mining development company Champion Iron, Quebec Iron Ore is a Quebec-based entity managed by experts from Quebec. The company was mandated to direct the relaunch of the Bloom Lake mine, a Champion Iron flagship project in Fermont, in Northern Quebec.

About Champion Iron Ltd.

Champion is an iron development and exploration company, focused on developing its significant iron resources in the south end of the Labrador Trough in the province of Quebec. Following the acquisition of its flagship asset, the Bloom Lake iron ore property, the corporation's main focus is to implement upgrades to the mine and processing infrastructure it now owns while also advancing projects associated with improving access to global iron markets, including rail and port infrastructure initiatives with government and other key industry and community stakeholders.

Champion's management team includes professionals with mine development and operations expertise, who also have vast experience from geotechnical work to greenfield development and brownfield management, including logistics development and financing of all stages in the mining industry.

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