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Port of Sept-Îles sets record pace

Multiuser dock

The Port of Sept-Îes on the St. Lawrence River, North America’s leading iron ore gateway, broke all records for first quarter throughput in the January through March period of 2020.”It’s unprecedented” (“du jamais vu”), Pierre C. Gagnon, President and CEO, told local media.

The port handled 7.9 million tonnes of cargo in Q1 versus 5.3 million tonnes a year earlier. Main contributing factor was the arrival, starting last year, of a new customer of the multi-user dock, Tacora Resources Inc., which brought in business of 600,000 tonnes. Some 112 bulk carriers called at the port in Q1 compared with 75 in the first three months of 2019.

The second quarter began as the COVID-19 pandemic was in full progress and mining enterprises in Québec, including Québec Iron Ore, reduced production. But by mid-April, production levels were bouncing back and Mr. Gagnon anticipates a solid performance in the second quarter. The excellent quality of Canadian iron ore is continuing to hold its own on global markets.

Last year saw total traffic at the Port of Sept-Îes rise by more than 15% to 29.3 million tonnes. It was the fourth-best year since the 35 million tonnes handled in 1979. (photos SIPA)

Pointe-Noire Terminal