Mine Arnaud is a project to mine an apatite deposit in the Sept-Îles area using an approach based on respect for the environment, local communities and the principles of sustainable development.
With a mine life estimated at more than 30 years, the project aims to maximize regional economic benefits. Creating wealth and jobs for the Sept-Îles area and for Québec as a whole, it will provide employment to nearly 1,000 workers during the construction phase (30 months), and will lead to the creation of more than 300 direct jobs and 425 indirect jobs, which are stable, well-paying jobs related to the mining of apatite, a resource consistently growing in demand.
Rock extracted from the open pit will be crushed and processed directly on the mine site to produce a phosphate-rich concentrate. Each year, the mine will produce 1.3 million tonnes of apatite concentrate destined for the production of agricultural fertilizers.
Once extracted from the open pit, apatite-rich rocks will be trucked to the crusher, then transported to the stockpile dome on hermetically sealed conveyors and finally sent to the processing plant for concentration.
The concentration process begins with the step of grinding and magnetic separation. During this step, titaniferous magnetite present in the ground rock is removed before it enters the flotation circuit, where reactants such as wheat starch, soya oil and sodium hydroxide are put to work to facilitate the flotation process whereby apatite will float to the surface.
This primary concentrate will be thickened, filtered and dried, until it takes on the look and feel of a very fine sand. It will be transported via sealed conveyors to storage silos built on the mine site, prior to being sent by rail to the storage facilities held by Mine Arnaud in Pointe Noire. Finally, two to three times per month, the apatite concentrate will be shipped by boat to Yara International's Norwegian facilities.
Main components of the project
• An open pit that will reach a maximum size of 800 m wide by 3.8 km long by 240 m deep ;
•Crushing facilities and an ore processing plant ;
•A waste rock pile and a temporary ore stockpile ;
•A low-grade ore accumulation area, an overburden accumulation area and a screening mound south of the open pit ;
•A tailings pond divided into 6 cells to facilitate progressive rehabilitation ;
•A treatment plant for industrial waste water ;
•Facilities for train loading and unloading ;
•Concentrate storage silos, a conveyor and a ship loader at the Port of Sept-Îles.