Mont-Wright Mine

Click for more information



Mine TypeOpen Pit
  • Iron Ore
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
Production Start1976
SnapshotThe mines at Mont-Wright and Fire Lake are operated by AMMC and are both open-pit producing mines, consolidated in one production schedule and life of mine supporting the AMMC property's disclosed mineral reserves.
Related AssetAMMC Operation


POSCO International Corp. 15 % Indirect
ArcelorMittal SA 85 % Indirect
AMMC is structured in two partnerships ArcelorMittal Mining Canada G.P. and ArcelorMittal Infrastructure Canada G.P. (AMIC), which are both held at 85% by ArcelorMittal with a 15% noncontrolling interest held by 9404-5515 Québec Inc., a consortium constituted, among others, of POSCO, a South Korean Steel Company and China Steel Corporation. The mines at Mont-Wright and Fire Lake are owned and operated by AMMC.

Deposit type

  • Banded iron formation


The Mont-Wright, Fire Lake and Mont-Reed deposits are all Lake Superior–type banded iron formations, the metamorphic equivalent to other iron formations within the Labrador Trough iron district. While Mont-Wright and Fire Lake are hematite-rich deposits, Mont-Reed has a greater ratio of magnetite.

The Mont-Wright and Fire Lake mines are part of the highly-folded and metamorphosed southwestern branch of the Labrador Trough. The most important rock type in the area is the specular hematite iron formation forming wide, massive deposits that often form the crest of high ridges extending for many kilometers in the Quebec Labrador area.

The Labrador Trough consists of Paleoproterozoic sedimentary and volcanic rocks that extends for more than 1100 km, from the northwest corner of Ungava Bay south to Lake Pletpi. It forms the western part of a larger orogenic belt called the New Québec Orogen¸ which records the oblique convergence and collision of the Archean Superior Craton to the west and an Archean core zone to the east. The Labrador Trough largely represents a foreland basin and comprises three sedimentary cycles, which are together referred to as the Kaniapiskau Supergroup.

Mining Methods

  • Truck & Shovel / Loader


Mont-Wright is surface pit producing mine, with the mining operations carried out in conventional large-scale open pits employing industry standard technology and equipment to mine ore with grades averaging approximately 29% Fe.

The Mont-Wright mining complex and Fire Lake mine run day and night, 365 days a year, to produce more than 26 million metric tons of iron ore concentrate every year.

Generally speaking, 2.6 metric tons or raw ore need to be extracted from the ground to produce one metric ton of iron ore concentrate. Drill operators drill deep 16-meter holes in line with a predetermined plan. These holes are filled with an explosive mixture that smashes the rock by blasting.

Once the rock is fragmented by blasting, it is loaded onto giant trucks by powerful shovels. The buckets of some of them have a capacity of 60 cubic verges (yards) and three or four loads are all it takes to load our largest 400-metric ton trucks – the first to make their appearance in Québec.


Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.


Production truck drivers make around 900 trips to the mine every day, most of them as far as the crusher. They empty their dumpsters into two rotating crushers which roughly crush the rock to around 20 centimeters in diameter. The crushed raw material travels by conveyor to the concentrator in the storage silos.


  • Gravity separation
  • Crush & Screen plant
  • Spiral concentrator / separator
  • Centrifugal concentrator
  • Sintering
  • Rotary kiln & Electric furnace


All mined ore from Mont-Wright and Fire Lake is processed at the Mont-Wright processing plant, with material from Fire Lake brought in by train. Feed ore material is fed through the crusher and concentrated in the processing plant in Mont-Wright using a gravity separation method. Concentrate is shipped to PortCartier, Québec, Canada, via private railroad, to the pelletizing facilities and port operations. The main products sold are concentrate and a variety of pellets.

The concentrator at Mont-Wright consists of 8 silos to continuously receive the raw material crushed in the crusher. The blocks contained in the silos are carried to one of the seven autogenous grinders: the blocks of ore are broken down as they knock together. On leaving the grinders, the particles are sieved by vibration. The particles that are too large are returned to the grinding process and the others are directed to circuits of spirals for the concentration stage.

The 8,500 spirals enable the iron content of the raw ore to be increased via a centrifugal force principle: by adding water, the iron particles that are heavier than the tailings are separated by gravity. Concentrate with an iron content of over 66% is obtained while the tailings (mainly silica, better known as sand) is carried to the containment area that will be restored when mining is finished.

Once the water has been removed from the Mont-Wright concentrate, it is taken to the silo for loading onto trains that carry it to Port-Cartier, in four or five convoys a day.

The pelleting process operates with two production lines and its main stages can be summarised as follows:
- enrichment of the concentrate
- crushing of the concentrate
- filtration
- integration of additives and mixing
- sintering
- sieving
- baking.

The plant at Port-Cartier has enrichment facilities that enable the silica in the concentrate to be reduced if necessary, according to customer requirements for higher quality pellets.

After this optional stage, the concentrate is taken to one of the six grinding balls with water and additives. As they knock together inside the grinders, the balls – made of a very hard alloy – reduce the particles of concentrate to the size of a grain of dust.

The material obtained which resembles mud is pumped to one of the 10 vertical filters for partial drying. After this stage, the substance called filter cake is tipped into one of the three mixers where other additives are incorporated.

This mixture is taken into one of the 10 sintering disks positioned diagonally. These large saucers turn on themselves, forming the pellets with a rotating movement thanks to the centrifugal force and angle of the equipment.

The pellets then move to the sieving section which enables those of the right size to be selected. Pellets that are too large or small are redirected to the disks, while the ones of the right size are sent to the last stage, hardening. To do this, the brittle pellets (also called “green” pellets) are baked in one of the two large furnaces at a temperature of 1300 degrees Celsius.


Combined production numbers are reported under AMMC Operation

Production Costs

Commodity production costs have not been reported.

Heavy Mobile Equipment

Fleet data has not been reported.


Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
Director of Mine Development Michel Gagne LinkedIn Mar 20, 2024
General Manager Operations Planning Gisela Gips LinkedIn Mar 20, 2024
Plant General Manager Romain Precheur LinkedIn Mar 20, 2024
Plant Manager Patrick Girard LinkedIn Mar 20, 2024
Procurement Director Daniele Rocha Reis LinkedIn Mar 20, 2024
Production Geologist Francois La Rochelle LinkedIn Mar 20, 2024

Aerial view:


- subscription is required.