Grand River Ironsands Inc.
Grand River Ironsands Incorporated ("GRI") is a privately-owned Canadian company; established in 2007, GRI is focused on two primary aspects – a mineral sands resource and producing a high purity pig iron. Within the mineral sands resource, located in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL (Canada), there are various minerals including magnetite, titanmagnetite, garnet (almandine), zircon and other valuable minerals.
For the past several years GRI has been developing a solution to use lower grade iron ore concentrates, blended with a lower grade thermal coal (reductant in smelting process), to make pig iron suitable for electric arc furnace (EAF) steel mills. These EAF’s (also known as mini-mills) require pig iron when they recycle scrap metal to make high quality steel products. The pig iron improves the process by diluting some of the impurities often found within scrap. Effectively, GRI will be participating in the recycling world and the re-birthing of steel.
GRI’s major shareholder is Muskrat Minerals Incorporated (MMI), listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) and trading under the symbol “YYR”, the airport code for Happy Valley-Goose Bay. MMI owns just over 40% of GRI, the remainder is owned by a wide group of Canadian investors.
In 2010 GRI partnered with Petmin Limited of South Africa (the country’s largest anthracite coal miner) who committed to invest $25 million (for 40% equity) to assist in the development of the project. Petmin and GRI have created a Joint Venture known as North Atlantic Iron Corporation (NAIC) which will become the resulting entity.
NAIC is dedicated to being a low cost producer of pig iron. The key strategy is to acquire lower grade iron ore concentrate (low in Fe, or higher in silica, or ores containing titanium dioxide or vanadium) from either existing producers, or when more advantageous, its own resource base in Labrador that is currently being advanced. Currently 3-5 million tonnes of pig iron is imported to North America annually. NAIC is working to produce 800,000+ tonnes per year for this market with a plant near the resource or the steel mills – generating a further savings on transportation cost borne by competitors. The business objective for NAIC is to produce pig iron below $300/tonne and sell into a market that acquires for over $400+/tonne.