Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Rio Tinto suspends railway operations between Labrador City and Port of Sept-Îles due to forest fires


With forest fires raging in the region, mining giant Rio Tinto, majority owner of the Iron Ore Company of Canada, has “suspended until at least Friday” transportation operations on the 418-km Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway linking its Labrador operations with port facilities in Sept-Îles.

“Our teams continue to work closely with SOPFEU to protect the main infrastructure of the QNS&L railway,” said Rio Tinto spokesman Simon Letendre. ”Our brigade is closely monitoring a bridge and tower at Mile 12, where a temporary sprinkler system has been installed as a precautionary measure.

“QNS&L railway operations will remain suspended until at least Friday due to fire and smoke hazards, as well as damage to our telecommunications infrastructure and power line along the track. The situation will be reassessed as it evolves.”

Rio Tinto IOC is also in the process of safely idling operations at the mine, concentrator and pellet plant in Labrador City until railway operations resume.

“We will focus our energies on maintaining our assets and protecting the railway and our camps. At Sept-Îles, high-risk tasks remain suspended until further notice, in order to prioritize the health and safety of our employees,” said a company statement.

Rio Tinto indicated that the main infrastructure of the QNS&L railway, including bridges, does not appear to have been seriously affected at present.  “However, some infrastructure (a telecom tower, our fiber optic line and our power line) has been damaged, while poles have fallen across and along the track. We were about to begin the annual shutdown in Lab City, so we are advancing some of the maintenance work that was scheduled to occur during the shutdown. Loading and shipping operations in Sept-Îles continue using existing stockpiles.”


(Railway photo from Rio Tinto)