Summary :

All right, let's go.

Bonnell and Di Cesare were invited by the Chambre de Commerce Manicouagan to present the projects and explain why they don't plan to build the first TIO2 module near the mine on the North Shore.

They explained that since natural gas made for 48% of the OPEX and NG was not available on the North Shore, the economics of the project were for the moment against building/operating on the North Shore. No Feasibility Study possible without a NG availibility solution. Heavy oil (Mazout) $600 a tonne added cost. Furtermore, the increasing prices and demand, to reach a summit around 2015, asked for a fast build to profit from demand and high prices. Also the permitting and studies to open the mine can be 2-3 years long. Thus the decision to build the first module - after the FS completed - near NG availability. Could not disclose where they were planning to build because of ongoing negociations. They definitely want to have modules at different locations so as to reassure clients that in case of a break down everything is not closed down. So that the North Shore may receive a 2nd or 3rd module in a few years when NG is available. As for feedstock, the first 2-3 years would come from elsewhere thant the Argex deposits, possibly the US.

 

They then insisted very much on Mouchalagane, which is directly north of Baie-Comeau (check map). They strongly pushed the interest of the project, presenting the workforce interest (1000 workers instead of 100 for TIO2), the necessity of a deep sea port for big transporters - Baie-Comeau has that - and the huge size of an iron mine and what's built around it compared to the titanium project. They insisted about the government possible implication, and that Robert Guilbault would now have as a special duty to coordinate with the region to push the project. They insisted that they didn't only want to mine the iron but to promote transformation as the governement would like. They insisted that they didn't spend 10 millions for nothing.

 

Link to Le Soleil today's article :

http://www.lapresse.ca/le-soleil/affaires/les-regions/201210/30/01-4588681-argex-dans-la-manicouagan-des-ambitions-assorties-de-conditions.php

 

Link to photographs :

http://www.pbase.com/gegetrane/argex