Ted Yew checks out the old iron ore dock Tuesday morning
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A junior mining company wants to put the province back on the map.
Rockex Mining Corporation is sitting on 1 billion tonnes of 29 per cent graded iron on deposits near Lake St. Joseph, which sits in between Sioux Lookout and Pickle Lake. With the potential for another billion tonnes, the company thinks the mine could operate well beyond 50 years.
But what really sets them apart is infrastructure, says the company’s president and CEO, Ted Yew.
The mine is in the midst of a preliminary economic assessment, which is expected to wrap up in the next two months. It could be operational by as early as 2016.
“We do have excellent proximity to all of the infrastructure in place, especially for iron ore mining,” Yew, who took the job four weeks ago, said Tuesday afternoon in Thunder Bay.
“To have unlimited access to the port, to have rail so close to our vicinity, with power and gas within a few kilometers from our site it really sets us apart.”
Rockex also has the 160-acre former Northern Woods site on Thunder Bay’s waterfront, complete with an iron ore loading dock on the property’s southern edge. That’s going to allow the company to not only ship its own iron ore but other potential mines in the region as well.
“This will create jobs for the rail, for the port as well as the tax revenues from all the distribution and logistics that has to go behind it,” Yew said.
“One thing we want to do is to bring iron ore back into Ontario in a significant way to the point that we’ll put it on the map as one of the iron ore spots in Canada.”
Shipping south to US markets as well as east and west to Asia and Europe is all possible from the location Yew said.
“We have many options as to where and who we can send our ore to,” he said.
While Yew admits the iron markets have been hit hard over the past year, he still believes the company is in a good spot.
Rockex has less than 50 million shares with 67 per cent of those being held by management and directors. That means it’s less vulnerable to mergers and acquisitions and hostile takeovers that can happen when companies are going cheap.
“I really believe that there is going to be a lot of incremental value in the next 12 to 18 months,” he said.
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