Aug 19 (Reuters) - Labrador Iron Mines reported a wider first-quarter loss, hurt by costs, but said mining results from its James mine in northwest Western Labrador showed the grades of ore were better than expected.
For the April-June period, the company reported a loss of C$4.7 million, or 9 Canadian cents a share, compared with a loss of C$0.9 million, or 2 Canadian cents a share, a year ago.
The Toronto-based company owns 20 deposits in the iron-rich Labrador Trough region, which straddles the border between Quebec and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The company said processing rate at the Silver Yards processing plant in Western Labrador, which was started up in June, will be incrementally raised to 10,000 tonnes per day, from the current rate of 6,000 tonnes per day.
Planning is now well advanced for the Phase III plant extension at Silver Yards to increase production, it said. The expansion is expected to be in place by mid 2012, treating between 2.6 and 2.8 million tonnes of ore, the company said.
Labrador, which signed up an iron ore sale deal with Iron Ore Co of Canada earlier this month, said it expects to mine about 2.2 million tonnes of ore from the James mine in calendar 2011. (Reporting by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)