The Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) is Canada's largest iron ore producer and a leading global supplier of iron ore pellets and concentrates. IOC is a key employer in the communities in which it operates, employing almost 1900 people in the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec. Owned by Rio Tinto (58.7%), Mitsubishi Corporation (26.2%), and the Labrador Iron Ore Royalty Income Corporation (15.1%), IOC operates within the Rio Tinto Iron Ore group and maintains its head office in Montreal, Quebec.
IOC celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2005. In 1954, IOC began extracting iron ore at its mine site in Schefferville, Quebec. Operations at this site continued until 1982, when the site was closed. IOC's current mine and process facilities, located near Labrador City, a community of approximately 9,000 in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, is known as the Carol Project. The facility began operation in 1962 and has produced more than one billion tonnes of crude ore with an average iron content of 39 percent.
The site still has a significant resource base available.
Annual capacity at the Carol Concentrator is 17 million tonnes of iron ore concentrate, of which 13 million tonnes can be pelletized and the balance processed into various grades of concentrate products.
After processing at the Labrador City operations, the pellets and concentrate are transported south 418 kilometers on the IOC owned and operated Quebec North Shore & Labrador (QNS&L) railway to the company's shipping terminal and year-round deep water port in Sept-Îles, Quebec. The trains can haul up to 24,000 tonnes of ore in 265 cars stretching some four kilometers in length.