Several mining companies have temporarily halted operations and exploration activities in eastern Canada as unprecedented wildfires rage. Iron Ore Co. of Canada, which is majority owned by Rio Tinto Group, is in the process of idling operations at the mine, concentrator and pellet plant in Labrador City, Newfoundland, because it can’t ship products out.
Its 418-kilometer (260-mile) Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway is suspended until at least Friday “due to fire and smoke hazards, as well as damage to our telecommunications infrastructure and power line along the track,” a company spokesperson said in an email.
In the Northern Abitibi region of Quebec, Hecla Mining Co. suspended operations at its Casa Berardi gold mine due to an emergency order from the provincial government prohibiting access to lands impacted by forest fires.
Canada is on pace for its worst-ever wildfire season on record, with approximately 3.3 million hectares (8.2 million acres) burned so far this year, according to data from the Canadian government. That’s almost double the area of Lake Ontario. Smoke has drifted south and is hanging over New York, Toronto and Ottawa, among other affected cities, on Tuesday.
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