Oceanic Iron Ore Corp., a junior mining company focused on the development of its iron ore development projects located on the west coast of Ungava Bay in Québec, announced that it has received the results of the Shipping Optimization Study conducted by a team led by AMEC.
The Study concludes with greater certainty that the Company’s shipping strategy, which will include direct shipments during ice free months from Breakwater Point and transshipment during winter months, is technically feasible and supports the cost projections contained in the Company’s Preliminary Marine Facility and Shipping Logistics Study announced September 22, 2011.
The Study includes the practical perspectives, experience, and inputs provided by shipping and transshipment companies Fednav Limited, Canada Steamship Lines, and Europees Massagoed Overslagbedtijf (EMO) as well as the Port Authorities of Rotterdam (Netherlands), Nuuk (Greenland), and St. Pierre and Miquelon.
Fednav has successfully shipped bulk concentrates in the Canadian Arctic for in excess of fifteen years on a year round basis serving the shipping needs of Glencore Xstrata’s Raglan mine, Vale’s Voisey’s Bay mine, and is scheduled to commence shipments at Jilin Jien’s Canadian Royalties mine. Some of these projects are located further north than the Company’s Hopes Advance project.
Thomas Paterson, Senior Vice-President of Fednav commented: “Our extensive experience operating in the Canadian Arctic allows us to conclude that shipping from the Hopes Advance project can be accomplished year round. Fednav looks forward to following up by submitting a competitive proposal for Oceanic’s Hopes Advance project at a future date and would be pleased to participate in satisfying the project’s long term shipping needs.”
The Study identifies three potential transshipment locations that all result in similar average annual shipping costs for the Hopes Advance project. These are Nuuk, Rotterdam, and St. Pierre and Miquelon. Each of these presents desirable attributes for transshipment. The actual transshipment location will be determined in consultation with the Company’s future strategic partner and will be based on the negotiated commercial terms reached with the applicable Port Authority and shipping companies at a later date when the project’s partner is in place and project financing and construction are imminent. The selected option will be included in the Company’s bankable feasibility study.
In the context of current market pricing for Capesize vessels and fuel costs, as well as insurance, port charges, commissions, etc. in addition to the costs associated with dedicated polar class vessels and transshipment, the Study projects estimated average annual shipping costs of approximately $31 per tonne of product from Nuuk, $33 per tonne from Rotterdam and $32 per tonne from St. Pierre and Miquelon with all shipping costs based on a shipment destination to the port of Qingdao, China via the Cape of Good Hope. As a consequence, based on the operating cost conclusions derived from the Company’s Prefeasibility Study, in all instances the resulting cash cost CFR China is projected at less than $65/tonne. In the event that some future product is sold into Europe the average annual shipping costs would decrease.