Arianne Phosphate Inc.’s US$1.2 billion phosphate rock mining project in Quebec’s Saguenay region is finding ways to cut operating costs and plans to begin debt-financing talks with its banking syndicate in a few weeks, its chief operating officer says.
Arianne’s Lac-à-Paul high-purity phosphate deposit, 200 kilometres northeast of Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean and with reserves of 500 million tonnes, may be Plan Nord’s second major producing mine after Stornoway Diamond Corp.
Arianne also begins public consultations next week when it files its environmental and benefits statement with the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environment (BAPE). It hopes to get the key ministerial decree this autumn, start construction in 2016 and hit production in 2017-2018.
“We can see blue sky ahead as we find more ways to cut open-pit operating costs and update our studies,” COO Jean-Sébastien David said from Saguenay on Friday. “We’ve saved five per cent by going farther west where the overburden is shallower and by switching 61 heavy-haulers from diesel to liquid natural gas fuel. We’re also seeking a 20-per-cent-rate reduction from Hydro-Québec.”
Arianne says it will produce 3 million tonnes of phosphate (a key ingredient of farm fertilizers) rock annually in concentrate form. Its contaminant-free product, now worth US$200 to US$225 a tonne, will also go to the animal feed, food, cosmetics and industrial markets. The U.S. imports about 4 million tonnes of phosphates a year, mainly from Morocco.
The concentrate will be trucked to a new deepwater terminal at Saint-Fulgence, on the Saguenay River, and then loaded into bulk carriers. Arianne will focus on the North America and European markets — internationally Morocco and Russia will its hottest competitors..........
New Zealand, together with Russia and Burma, are the major destinations ... per cent, applied for a phosphate prospecting permit on the central Chatham Rise. ... on imported rock, virtually all sourced from Morocco at the time.
A six-week hearing has begun for an application to mine phosphate from ... NZ$20 million," says Chris Castle of Chatham Rock Phosphate. ... There's 50 billion tonnes inMorocco, but this is more accessible than North Africa.