PITTSBURGH Iron Ore Co. of Canada (IOC) logged a nearly 12-percent increase in first-quarter shipments.
The miner produced 1.672 million tonnes of iron ore during the three months ended March 31, up 11.8 percent from 1.495 million tonnes in the year-ago period, majority owner Rio Tinto Plc said in its earnings results.
Of the quarterly total, 1.366 million tonnes were in concentrate, with the remainder in pellet form. IOC only shipped concentrate in the first quarter of 2011.
IOC noted that it expects the second phase of its $500-million expansionwhich will increase capacity to 23.3 million tonnes per yearto begin production later this year. The company operates a mine, concentrator and pelletizing plant in Labrador City, Newfoundland and Labrador, where it is based; as well as port facilities in Sept-Îles, Quebec.