Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. and Port of Sept-Îles announced that for the first time in North America, a Chinamax-type vessel will be loaded in the Bay of Sept-Îles, and will transport 300,000 tonnes of iron ore concentrate from Cliffs’ Bloom Lake mine to Asia.

The China Shipping Bulker CSB Years is a Chinamax type bulk vessel, launched in January of 2012, with a loading capacity of 330,000 tonnes, measuring 330 metres long and 31.3 metres high. The vessel is expected to commence loading on November 24.

“Cliffs’ team is proud of this historical milestone in North America,” said Don Gallagher, Executive Vice-President and President – Global Operations of Cliffs. “This first shipment of iron ore product via Chinamax for our customer Wisco is consistent with Cliffs’ core value of environmental stewardship and operational efficiencies. The technology and loading capacity (over 300,000 tonnes) of these larger vessels will allow us to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as maritime traffic and enhance our competitiveness within the global iron ore market. It is exciting to see this new access road between Sept-Îles and Asia finally come to fruition.”

“We are witnessing a historical turning point today: the opening of our port to the next generation of ore vessels of the planet. We must congratulate the initiative of our partner, Cliffs Natural Resources, who made this possible,” said Pierre D. Gagnon, President and CEO of Port of Sept-Îles.