* Says govt. gives go ahead to raise iron ore shipments
* Says can now ship up to 16 mln tonnes/yr on rail line
TORONTO, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines Ltd CLM.TO said on Thursday it has received the go ahead from the government of Newfoundland and Labrador to increase the transport of iron ore concentrate over the Bloom Lake railway.
The Montreal-based company said it can now transport an additional 8 million tonnes a year, bringing the total tonnage of iron ore concentrate it can transport over the rail line to 16 million tonnes ar year.
The company said it continues to increase production at its Bloom Lake mine in Quebec and it expects to reach a production rate of 8 million tonnes in the first quarter of 2011.
Consolidated Thompson said it continues to implement its plan to double its capacity for mining operations at Bloom Lake by the end of 2012 and it expects to initiate construction work for its new process facilities before the end of this year.
Consolidated Thompson in July shipped its first consignment -- about 165,000 tonnes of iron ore concentrate -- to its Chinese partner Wuhan Iron and Steel Group 600005.SS. (Reporting by Euan Rocha; editing by Peter Galloway)