Labrador Iron Mines files Environmental Impact Statement for Schefferville Area Iron Ore Project in Western Labrador



    TORONTO, Aug. 25 /CNW/ - Labrador Iron Mines Limited (TSX: LIM) has
submitted its revised Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") for its
Schefferville Area Iron Ore Project (the "Project") to the Department of
Environment and Conservation of Newfoundland and Labrador.
    The EIS incorporates the Company's original EIS submission of December
2008 prepared in accordance with the Guidelines issued by the Minister of
Environment and Conservation, and specifically addresses the requests for
certain additional information itemized in the Department of Environment and
Conservation's Environmental Assessment Bulletin of March 13, 2009. The EIS
identifies and addresses the potential environmental effects of the Project on
communities, the economy and business, caribou, fish and other ecological
habitat. A copy of the EIS will be available on the Company's website at
www.labradorironmines.ca.

    
    Discussions With Government Agencies
    ------------------------------------
    

    The preparation of the EIS required a substantial process involving
detailed discussions with various departments and agencies of the Government
of Newfoundland and Labrador. It fulfills provincial environmental assessment
requirements and has followed extensive studies documenting the existing
environment over the last four years to identify potential environmental
issues, and consultations with the public and stakeholders including elders of
the various aboriginal communities.
    The EIS concludes that significant adverse environmental effects are not
predicted in relation to the Project's construction, operation, or
decommissioning phases, or as a result of accidental events. The Project is
therefore not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.
    Filing of the EIS is to be followed by a 50-day public comment period and
up to a further 20 days for the Minister of Environment and Conservation to
determine the Project's environmental acceptability.
    Upon release of project approval, the Company will submit the
applications for the necessary operating permits and licenses. Depending upon
the timing of the environmental release and the granting of these permits and
licenses, the Company plans to proceed with initial site construction and
installation of transport facilities this fall ahead of commercial production
currently scheduled for mid-2010.

    
    Project Overview
    ----------------

    The Project involves the reactivation of two iron ore areas in Western
Labrador near Schefferville, Quebec. Open pit mines will be developed at James
North, James South, Redmond 2B and Redmond 5 deposits. Highlights of the
Project include:

    -   Mining of 'direct shipping' iron ore deposits in an area of previous
        iron ore mining;
    -   Mining will be carried out using conventional open-pit mining
        methods; the Project is planned to operate an average of 7 to 8
        months each year;
    -   Ore will be beneficiated by crushing, washing and screening at the
        Silver Yard in Labrador. No chemicals will be used in the
        beneficiation;
    -   The beneficiation building will include a primary crusher, tumbling
        scrubber, secondary crusher, primary screening equipment, and
        secondary screening equipment;
    -   The beneficiation building and contents will be semi-mobile and
        modular to fit with the Project's long-term plans;
    -   A 4 km rail spur line previously operated and subsequently abandoned
        will be relaid and a siding track will be laid at the Silver Yard.

    The Project benefits from and relies upon the significant level of
pre-existing infrastructure (open pits, roads, rail beds) put in place for
previous mining operations of the Iron Ore Company of Canada that were
subsequently closed during the 1980s. These infrastructure facilities are
still in sound operational condition and will ensure that new build facilities
will be kept to a minimum.

    Socio-Economic Benefits
    -----------------------
    

    The Project will result in considerable socio-economic benefits accruing
to the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and in particular to Labrador,
creating new direct and indirect employment and business opportunities and
contributing substantially to the local economy, as well as that of the
Province of Newfoundland and Labrador as a whole.
    In the spirit of a shared vision for the people and the Province, LIM had
earlier signed an Impact Benefit Agreement with the Innu Nation of Labrador,
representing the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation and the Mushuau Innu First
Nation. The IBA is a life of mine agreement that establishes the processes and
sharing of benefits that will ensure an ongoing positive relationship between
Labrador Iron Mines and the Innu Nation. In return for their consent and
support of the project, the Innu Nation and their members will benefit through
training, employment, business opportunities and financial participation in
the Project.
    LIM has also signed Memoranda of Understanding with each of the Naskapi
Nation of Kawawachikamach and the Innu Nation of Matimekush-Lac John, and is
in negotiation with the Innu Takuaikan Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam, and expects to
convert these into Co-operation Agreements which will provide for the
participation of these aboriginal communities in the Project.
    Following discussions with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador,
LIM has developed a Newfoundland and Labrador Benefits Plan under which it is
committed to the maximization of benefits - including employment, procurement,
education, training and economic development - to the Province and in
particular to Labrador, and to providing full and fair opportunity and giving
first consideration to residents and businesses of the Province to participate
in, and benefit from, the Project.
    It is estimated that the Project will employ approximately 40 people
during the Construction Phase and approximately 109 people during the
Operations Phase, (100 on mining operations and 9 on rail spur-line
operations). It is expected that during both the Construction Phase and
Operations Phase of the Project, approximately 25 percent of total employees
will be members of the aboriginal First Nations.
    In its Newfoundland and Labrador Benefits Plan, LIM has committed to
specific project employment targets and goods and services procurement
targets. Overall, LIM has committed to achieving a minimum of 78 percent of
Construction, and 78 percent of Operations Phase employment accruing to
residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, and to achieving a minimum of 85
percent of total value of Construction and 85 percent of total value of
Operations phase contracts and goods and services being awarded/procured
through companies and suppliers based in the Province. LIM has also developed
a Women's Employment Plan which, amongst other matters, commits to an initial
minimum of 15 percent women's employment on the Project.
    These net positive benefits to the Province and its economy as a whole,
and to under-represented groups, will be particularly valued given the current
economic conditions in Labrador West. LIM will monitor Project employment and
expenditures, including the work going to Labrador, the Innu of Labrador,
women and the Province as a whole.
    Other areas on which more detailed supplemental information is provided
in the EIS include:

    
    -   Caribou mitigation strategy - The caribou mitigation strategy
        incorporates a set of procedures to reduce or eliminate disturbance
        and encounters with caribou. Any activity that may potentially affect
        caribou habitat or mortality in some manner will be implemented with
        appropriate mitigation. A comprehensive aerial survey of caribou
        undertaken in May 2009 by LIM, in cooperation with an adjacent
        operator and government agencies, provided additional information and
        data which concluded that residual and cumulative environmental
        effects on caribou would not be significant.

    -   Residue/water management - Water management will include sourcing
        beneficiation water from pit water and groundwater; diverting clean
        drainage away from active mine areas; and maintaining flow to fish
        habitat using clean groundwater. No chemicals will be used in the
        beneficiation process and the resultant washwater will be deposited
        into the old Ruth Pit. For all aspects of the development and
        operation, measures will be taken to divert and manage water
        (stormwater runoff, etc.) in an environmentally responsible manner.
        Detailed design and control measures to ensure discharge water
        quality in compliance with all regulatory requirements will be
        provided at the permitting stage.

    -   Fish and other ecological habitat - The potential effects to fish and
        other ecological habitat have been considered and, with diligent
        application of mitigative and environmental protection measures, the
        residual and cumulative environmental effects are expected to be not
        significant. LIM will adhere to mitigation measures to reduce or
        eliminate adverse effects on fish and fish habitat. Follow-up and
        monitoring measures will be applied to ensure compliance with
        provincial and federal regulations and to verify the impact
        predictions.

    Other Regulatory Approvals
    --------------------------
    

    Earlier this year the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency completed
its review of the Project and determined that a federal level Canadian
Environmental Assessment is not required. Other federal agencies, including
Environment Canada, Transport Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Health Canada
and the Canadian Transportation Agency, have also completed their reviews and
confirmed that they had no triggers for a federal level environmental
assessment. The Major Projects Management Office has declared that the Project
does not constitute a major natural resources project.

    
    Labrador Iron Mines Holdings Limited
    ------------------------------------
    

    The Company was established to develop direct shipping iron ore deposits
on properties in which it holds interests in the Labrador Trough of Canada's
main iron ore producing region in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador
near Schefferville, Quebec. The Company's properties are part of the historic
Schefferville area iron ore district which was previously mined by the Iron
Ore Company of Canada from 1954 to 1982. Labrador Iron Mines is working to
reactivate direct shipping iron ore operations in the region with plans to
commence production by mid-2010.





For further information:

For further information: please view the Company's website at
www.labradorironmines.ca or contact: Donna Yoshimatsu, Vice-President,
Investor Relations, Tel: (647) 728-4119, E-mail:
Yoshimatsu.d@labradorironmines.ca

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Labrador Iron Mines Holdings Limited

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