Nfld. & Labrador

IOC investigating cause of Labrador West-mine fire

The Iron Ore Company of Canada says production is back to normal at its mine in Labrador City, after a fire shut down operations Sunday.
The main entrance to the Iron Ore Company of Canada mine in Labrador City. IOC is majority owned by Rio Tinto, one of the world's largest mining companies. (John Gaudi/CBC)

The Iron Ore Company of Canada says production is back to normal at its mine in Labrador City after a fire shut down operations Sunday.

Emergency crews worked for hours to contain a large fire in the pellet plant load-out area of the mine early Sunday morning. 

It damaged machinery in the area where iron ore pellets are loaded onto trains for shipment to market.

United Steelworkers president Ron Thomas said the company closed the mine Sunday, but people are back to work Monday. 

"It's back to full operations except that the company is now stockpiling the ore and the pellets instead of actually loading it into the trains," Thomas said.

"It could have been a lot worse than what it was." 

In a statement to CBC News, IOC said it has begun analyzing the cause of the blaze.

"We extend our appreciation to all of the emergency responders for their efforts to ensure the safety of our employees and the protection of our production equipment," the statement read.

IOC employees, along with the Labrador City and Wabush fire departments, brought the fire under control.

The fire comes on the same day that 50 to 60 mine workers were laid off. 

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