The Labrador Trough is a geological sequence extending through western Labrador. It consists of sedimentary and volcanic rocks deposited here two billion years ago, at a time when much of Labrador was covered by a shallow sea.
As early as the 1870's, Jesuit missionary Father Louis Babel had noted iron deposits in Labrador West. Between 1892 and 1896 Canadian geologist Albert Peter Low explored and mapped the area. It was in 1936 that a major body of iron ore was mapped near here, at Carol Lake and Little Wabush Lake. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s numerous deposits in the Labrador Trough were surveyed and in 1954 the Iron Ore Company (IOC) completed the Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway, to ship ore from a mine in Schefferville, Quebec.
In 1958 IOC decided to extend the railway into western Labrador, in order to exploit the deposit at Carol Lake. Initially the mine and townsite were known as the "Carol Project."
The region known as Labrador West contains the two largest mines in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador; the Iron Ore Company and Wabush Mines. Operating for over 40 years, the mines continue to be strong contributors to the Provincial economy and provide approximately 60 percent of Canada's iron ore exports. Including ArcelorMittal Mines Canada in nearby Fermont, Quebec, the region produces and provides services in support of 100% of Canada's iron ore production.
Market demand and record pricing for iron ore products is spurring record production levels, investment in capital improvements and new technologies to support increased production with the possibility of expansion currently under review.
With respect to potential new mining operations on the horizon, Labrador West is positioned to service and house employees for the LabMag project, situated in the Schefferville area and Consolidated Thompson's Bloom Lake property situated on the Quebec side of the border in Western Labrador.
Click to view a movie of Iron Ore Blast (AVI - may require a CODEC)