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Key Facts

Commodity Titanium

Quebec, Canada
Nearest Landmark: LAC TIO
Latitude: 50° 40' (North)
Longitude: 63° 40' (West)


Satellite Image

Rio Tinto 

Operator QIT - Fer et Titane

Titanium - 3 Mtpa capacity

Deposit Type Magmatic titanium iron oxide deposit
Reserves & Resources

Titanium dioxide - 52 Mt (proven and probable, December 31, 2011)

Mine Type Surface
Mining Method Open pit
Processing Method Crushing, smelting
Mine Life To 2050
Mining Equipment Truck and shovel
Processing equipment Crushers, smelters
Employees 1,950 (2011)
Contact Information C.P. 160, 951 de l'Escale
Havre Saint-Pierre, PQ
Phone: (418) 538-2400
Fax: (418) 538-2796

Last updated: June 7, 2012


QIT-Fer et Titane exploits an ilmenite deposit at Lac Tio, near Havre-Saint-Pierre, Quebec, and operates a metallurgical complex in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec, where high-quality titanium dioxide, pig iron and steel are extracted from this ore.

In operation since 1950, Lac Tio is an open-pit mine located 43 km northeast of Havre-Saint-Pierre, the site of the largest hard rock ilmenite deposit in the world. The exceptional size and quality of the Lac Tio deposit hold enormous potential for the future – it has a life expectancy of at least another half-century.

Operating year-round, QIT-Fer et Titane's mine has close to 2,000 employees who ensure that all activities run smoothly, from mining the ore to transporting it to Havre-Saint-Pierre, and then to the metallurgical complex in Sorel-Tracy.

Furthermore, Quebec Metal Powders (QMP), a company affiliated with QIT that operates within the metallurgical complex, produces iron and metal powders.

In 2011, Rio Tinto announced that it plans to invest $818 million to extend mine life to 2050 and increase processing capacity.


The mine is located on the St. Lawrence River, situated on 125 claims and 2 concessions - granted by the State in 1949 and 1951 - located 27 miles from Havre St-Pierre, Quebec, Canada.

Quebec is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province whose sole official language is French at provincial level. The natural resources sector is still a very important component of the province's economy.

Geology & Mineralization

Lac Tio is a magmatic Ti-Fe+/-V oxide deposit. This deposit type is also known as mafic intrusion-hosted titanium-iron deposit.

The ilmenite, hemo-ilmenite or titaniferous magnetite accumulations occur as cross-cutting lenses or dike-loke bodies, layers or disseminations within anorthositic rocks. Lenses have shap contacts and could be tens to hundred of metres wide and several hundred metres long. Lac Tio is an irregular, tabular intrusive mass, 1,100 m long and 1,000 m wide.

Mining & Operation

It is a conventional open pit mining operation. The mine is situated on 125 claims and 2 concessions located 27 miles from Havre St-Pierre, Quebec at Lac Tio.

The ore is extracted by blasting. Each blast loosens 100-200kt of ore and tailings.

The mine produces iron and titanium. The ore is transported by rail to Havre St-Pierre and then by boat 600 miles to the Sorel Mill/Smelter facility.

An CAD$800 million expansion plan was approved in 2011 which would see the expanding of mining operations from 5 to 7 days a week resulting in the creation of 70 new jobs.



The ore loosened by blasting is transported to crushers, which pound it first into 20 cm pieces and then further reduce it to less than 7.5cm.

The crushed ore is shipped by train to Harvre-Saint-Pierre and unloaded that the QIT dock. From there, it is transferred by conveyor on to an ore carrier designed for the Sorel-Tracy metallurgical complex which receives about 3 million tonnes per year of ilmenite.

The mill has a capacity of 3.3 million tons per year. There are nine operating smelting furnaces with an annual capacity of exceeding 1.1 million tons of titanium slag.

 In 2011, Rio Tinto announced that they plan to increase the processing capacity at Sorel-Tracy metallurgical complex by 30% through upgrades to equipment and systems.

Environment & Community

From the outset, QIT has been actively involved in the two communities where it is established. As a major economic player in the regions of Sorel-Tracy and Havre-Saint-Pierre, it is concerned about the quality of life in these areas. For QIT, sustainable development implies not only environmental issues, but also social commitment. With a firm belief that its growth is directly linked to the development of neighbouring communities, it maintains close ties with local residents and representatives.

Rio Tinto, Fer et Titane has invested more than $1 billion in Quebec over the last decade only.

QIT’s community relations policy is based on strict ethics that are founded on the principles of listening to and respecting the local population. Standing behind initiatives that strengthen the vitality of the neighbouring areas, QIT therefore supports employee and community projects that focus on regional development and improving the residents’ quality of life. It is also committed to long-term partnerships in matters of health, education, culture, the environment and community activities.

The community relations policy spawns action plans that are regularly updated. To better target its community involvement, QIT uses tools such as surveys to gather input from the local population and its key players.


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Lac Tio Suppliers

Lac Tio Suppliers

ABB - Mining Energy Conservation, Automation, Drives

Featured Suppliers

Marcotte Mining Machinery Services Inc. Multicrete Systems Inc.

Other Suppliers

DMC Mining Services
Titan Process Equipment Ltd.

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