(Reuters) - Iron ore miners New Millennium Iron Corp NML.TO and Labrador Iron Mines Holdings Ltd LIM.TO resumed full operations at their mines in the Schefferville area of Quebec after the local Innu community removed a week-long blockade.
Mining was affected after local residents blocked access to the mines protesting against the Quebec government’s Plan Nord to develop natural resources in the northern part of the province.
Keren Yun, a spokeswoman for Labrador, said the company did not have any direct contact with the protesters.
The 25-year plan, launched last year, targets C$80 billion ($78.44 billion) in investments to develop the resource-rich area of 1.2 million square kilometer. Canadian National Railway Co (CNR.TO) wants to build a C$5 billion rail line to ship iron ore from the area to Port of Sept-Iles.
The blockade at Schefferville will not have any impact on Labrador’s production target of 2 million tonnes for the year, the company said on Monday, adding that full-scale operations will restart over the next few days.
The company has 20 iron ore deposits within 50 kilometers of Schefferville.
“The economic impact to all local participants has been minimized,” said Dean Journeaux, the chief executive of New Millennium, which owns a 20 percent stake in an iron ore project near Schefferville.
India’s Tata Steel Ltd (TISC.NS), which holds a 27 percent stake in New Millenium, owns the rest of the Schefferville direct shipping ore project that has a resource potential of 122 million tonnes.
Shares of New Millennium rose about 1 percent to C$1.56 in mid-day trade on Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange, while those of Labrador were flat at C$2.57.
($1 = 1.0199 Canadian dollars)
Reporting by Sandhya Vijayan in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian