Canada

Lac Tio (Havre St-Pierre) Mine

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Overview

Mine TypeOpen Pit
StatusActive
Commodities
  • Titanium
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
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SnapshotLac Tio mine is located on the largest solid ilmenite deposit in the world.

Rio Tinto Iron and Titanium (RTIT) Quebec Operations have been processing ore from mine at Lac Tio (Havre-Saint-Pierre) at Sorel-Tracy Metallurgical and critical minerals complex.

Commissioned the BlueSmeltingTM demonstration plant at RTIT Quebec Operations, with the first tonne of pre-reduced ore produced. The project is part of a partnership with the Government of Canada.

Two furnaces at RTIT Quebec Operations remain offline following process safety incidents in June and July. In the fourth quarter 2023, Company decommissioned an additional furnace that reached the end of its useful life and is due for reconstruction in 2024. As a result, RTIT Quebec Operations enter 2024 with six out of nine furnaces operating.

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Rio Tinto plc 100 % Indirect
Rio Tinto Fer et Titane Inc. (operator) 100 % Direct
Rio Tinto Fer et Titane Inc.(RTFT), which is wholly owned by Rio Tinto, operates an open cast titanium dioxide mine at Lac Tio near Havre-Saint-Pierre and, at its metallurgical complex in Sorel-Tracy.

Contractors

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Deposit type

  • Magmatic
  • Intrusion related

Summary:

There are in the Lac Allard area six ilmenite deposits. The largest and most important is the Lac Tio deposit. The deposits of the Lac Allard region contain ilmenites of similar composition.

The Allard Lake ilmenite deposits lie in the northeastern part of one of the large Precambrian anorthosite masses and comprise a series of metamorphic and igneous rocks that belong to the Grenville Province. The ore bodies consist of a series of narrow dikes, irregular lenses, or sill-like bodies that appear to be genetically related to the anorthosite rocks in which they occur.

Rocks of the "Grenville Series" are represented by quartzites, quartz-biotite gneiss, quartz-hornblende gneiss, garnetiferous gneiss, and small patches o: amphibolite and garnetiferous graphite schist. These rocks occur abundantly along the Romaine River between the First East branch and the Second East branch. Numerous outcrops are also found on the shores of Forget lake and in the adjoining area to the east.

The most important lithological unit in the Lac Allard region is anorthosite and related rocks.

Anorthosite is the major rock type in the vicinity of Lac Allard. As a rule, it is massive, coarse-grained and contains 95 percent or more plagioclase. In fresh exposure, it varies in color from pale gray to pink to somewhat resinous green when it contains more than 5 percent ferromagnesian minerals. In weathered outcrops, the anorthosite is usually gray to chalky white. The equigranular varieties of anorthosite have grains sizes that range from 3 to 6 mm and is characterized by sporadic coarse plagioclase phenocrysts 2 to 35 cm long. The phenocrysts are similar in composition to plagioclase of the enclosing matrix (Hargraves, 1962).

In thin section, the texture of the anorthosite varies from hypidiomorphic to allotriomorphic granular, and the plagioclase grains (An 40-52) range from 3mm to 12mn in size. Approximately half the 25 thin sections examined by Hargraves (1962) showed evidence of cataclasis as indicated by scattered relics of larger crystals exhibiting undulatory extinctions, bent twin lamellae and fractured margins. The finer-grained material surrounding the deformed fragments and locally constituting the entire rock, is anhedral and displays intricately sutured grain bound aries, suggesting recrystallization of crushed material.

The ilmenite rich anorthosite (oxide rich norite of Hargraves, 1962) is medium-grained seed slightly foliated or gneissic. Tie essential constituents of the rock, in paragenetic order, are plagioclase, pyroxene, apatite and oxide. Despite variation in the relative proportion of these constituents, the mafic fraction rarely constitutes less than 50 percent by weight of the rock. Sulfide, largely pyrite with minor pyrrhotite are constant accessories, and secondary biotite is sporadically distributed.

The Lac Tio is magmatic Iron-Titanium-Oxide Deposit.

The Lac Tio deposit is made up of three orebodies, the Main deposit, the Northwest deposit, and the Cliff deposit (Perreault, 2003). The Main deposit is an equant tabular sheet, 1,097 m by 1,036 m with an estimated thickness of 110 m inclined about 10° to the east. The Northwest deposit, separated from the Main deposit by a late normal fault, forms a band of massive ilmenite alternat ing with anorthosite that varies from 7 to 60 m in thickness, inclined gently to the east. The Cliff orebody is roughly ellipti cal in plan, about 380 m by 230 m and 60 m thick (Hammond, 1952).

At the Lac Tio mine, hemo-ilmenite is dense, black, and mostly present as coarse-grained, thick, tabular crystals, about 5 to 20 mm in length (Hammond, 1952; Charlier and others, 2010). Anorthositic ore consists of massive lenses of titaniferous magnetite (Fe:Ti ratio greater than 2:1) that are phaneritic ranging from equigranular to porphyritic to reticulated with coarse-grained subhedral to euhedral magnetite in a mesh of fine-grained anhedral ilmenite with no flow structures. Gabbro ore is oxide-enriched conformable bands in gabbro (Fe:Ti ratio less than 2:1) that are typically more fine-grained with porphyritic or reticulated textures.

At the Lac Tio, hemo-ilmenite is hosted by anorthosite; accessory minerals include aluminous spinel, orthopyroxene, and Ti-phlogopite with minor amounts of sulfide (pyrite, pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite, and millerite) (Charlier and others, 2010).

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.

Processing

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Production

CommodityUnits202420232022202120202019201820172016
Titanium dioxide kt  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe1,206  *1,116  *1,315  *1,048  *
All production numbers are expressed as slag. ^ Guidance / Forecast.
* Combined production for Lac Tio (Havre St-Pierre) Mine, Fort Dauphin (QMM) Operation and Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) Mine

Operational metrics

Metrics202320222021202020192018
Annual production capacity  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe1,300,000 t of titanium dioxide slag1,300,000 t of titanium dioxide slag
Annual production capacity  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe1,000,000 t of iron pig1,000,000 t of iron pig

Production Costs

Commodity production costs have not been reported.

Heavy Mobile Equipment

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Personnel

Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 15, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 20, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 20, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 20, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 20, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 20, 2024

EmployeesYear
...... Subscription required 2022
...... Subscription required 2021

Aerial view:

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