Canada’s Arctic may be sparse in population but big in the mining business and keeping the region supplied, a challenging task.
Every November, another shipping season in Canada’s formidable Arctic waters has come and gone. The specialized ice-class Canadian fleets had a busy year delivering bulk, breakbulk, general cargo and various Arctic sealift supplies between July and end October to sparsely-populated communities with almost non-existent marine infrastructure. It was also a record period for shipments of iron ore by foreign-flag carriers from the gigantic mining complex (see sidebar on page 14) on Baffin Island.
Among the Canadian carriers, Montreal-based Fednav Limited is not a sealift player strictly-speaking but occupies a category all by itself, having notably participated in every major shipping project involving northern mines. A pioneering presence in Canada’s Arctic for more than six decades, Fednav today owns and operates three vessels that constitute the world’s most powerful, non-nuclear icebreaking bulk carriers. They transport more than two million metric tons annually from northern mines. And since the late 1990s, Fednav has been exclusively offering virtually year-round services among Canadian carriers engaged in the Arctic trades.
“With the success of year-round shipping, resource developers are no longer reliant on summer-only shipping,” Tim Keane, Fednav’s manager of Arctic operations, told the AJOT. “Fednav’s fleet of icebreaking bulk carriers act as mine resupply vessels, adapted to the needs of the projects which they serve…
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