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History

1945-49
Exploration and development work proves reserves of direct shipping open pit iron ore in excess of 400 million tonnes.

 

1947
Decision is taken to move ahead with the IOC project.

 

1949
Iron Ore Company of Canada is officially incorporated.

 

1954
The main line of the QNS&L railway is inaugurated.
On July 15th, the first rail shipment of iron ore leaves the Shefferville marshalling yard – Silver yard – for Sept-Îles. On July 31st, the "Hawaiian" leaves Sept-Îles with the first shipment of iron ore from Ungava.

 

1958
IOC announces the Carol Lake project at Labrador City (mine and concentrator).

 

1959
Intensive mapping and drilling of the Wabush area is undertaken with a production target of 1962 for the Carol Project. Labrador Mining and Exploration teams originally discovered this mining area while carrying out substantial work in early 1949.

 

1960
The railway spur connecting Labrador City to the QNS&L railway main line is completed. This stretch will be called the "Northern Land Company Railway". On August 10th, the ore drying plant at Sept-Îles starts operations.

 

1961
Start of construction of a pelletizing plant in Labrador City.

 

1962
The Carol Lake concentrator and the Smallwood mine are officially opened in July.

 

1963
The pelletizing plant in Carol starts operations. In Sept-Îles, the second dumper and pellet-handling surge pile go into operation.

 

1967
Expansion of the pellet plant from four lines producing 6 million tonnes to six lines producing 10 million tonnes per year is completed.

 

1968
Construction starts on a new loading dock designed to handle 254,000-tonne carriers.

 

1970
A 290 million-dollar expansion is announced. This will increase Carol concentrate production to 20 million tonnes and allow the installation of a beneficiation complex in Sept-Îles to process Schefferville lean ore.

 

1976
Sept-Îles concentrator expansion project begins in April at a cost of 10 million dollars. In order to increase the production of concentrate, two 254 tonnes per hour grinding mills and 14 flotation cells are added.

 

1979
On July 18th, IOC celebrates 25 years of production by giving a reception in Sept-Îles to which all of its employees having 25 years of service or more are invited.


1981
On January 9th, IOC  announces the indefinite closing of its beneficiation complex at Sept-Îles.

 

1985
The first Family Day is held on August 24th in Sept-Îles, Labrador City and Contrecoeur. On this occasion, all active employees and their families are invited to visit IOC's installations, at the three locations.

 

1989
On February 28th, IOC extracts the billionth tonne of ore from its mine in Labrador City.

IOC is awarded the ISO 9003 quality registration (Quality management in shipping and handling operations).

 

1992
Mitsubishi becomes an IOC shareholder and IOC becomes the first mining company to obtain the ISO 9002 - 1987 quality registration (Quality management of production methods and processes).

 

1994
IOC becomes the first mining company to comply with the new ISO 9002-94 registration.

 

1996
IOC reached the unprecedented milestone of one billion tonnes of crude iron ore mined at Labrador City operations since the start-up, back in 1962.


2000
Rio Tinto acquires North Limited shares and becomes the principal shareholder (56.07 %).

 

2004
IOC celebrates transportation milestone - one-billionth tonne of iron ore shipped on QNS&L.

 

2005
IOC celebrates its 50th year.

 

2006
An accelerated recruitment strategy results in over 200 new employees joining IOC.

 

2008
IOC is awarded the prestigious John T. Ryan Trophy from the Canadian Institute of Mining for its safety excellence as a select Mine in Eastern Canada.

 

2009
IOC’s Tailings Management Project ‘’From Tailings to Diversity’’ receives the ICM/Syncrude Award for Excellence in Sustainable Development.

 

2010
IOC announces the Expansion Project relaunch: $500 million to increase the annual production of iron concentrate to 22 million tonnes.

 

2011
IOC is presented with four Towards Sustainable Mining Performance Awards and three Achievements of Excellence by the Mining Association of Canada.

IOC establishes a partnership with Habitat for Humanity to help build a housing solution in Labrador West. IOC donates the land and contributes $100,000 to the build, while IOC employees give their time and expertise in helping with construction.


2012
The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) honours QNS&L Railway with a Safety Award for its portable ultrasound device that detects air leaks during train inspections.