Québec provincial Government’s investment arm Investissement Québec is in discussions with US-based mining company Cliffs Natural Resources over restarting the Bloom Lake iron ore mine.

Production at Bloom Lake, located in the north-east of the province, ended less than two months after Cliffs announced its intention to close the project, Bloomberg reported.

In 2011, the mine was purchased by the company through its C$4.2bn ($3.6bn) acquisition of Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines.

In a bid to focus on its domestic business, Cliffs is abandoning higher-cost operations owing to a slump in iron ore prices.

"Bloom Lake mine has transitioned to care and maintenance status and only a small number of employees are still on the payroll."

On 2 January, Cliffs confirmed that active production at Bloom Lake had completely ceased and the scheduled exit from Eastern Canada will go ahead.

Bloom Lake mine has transitioned to care and maintenance status and only a small number of employees are still on the payroll.

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Bloomberg cited Québec Energy and Natural Resources Minister Pierre Arcand as saying that it is too early to provide more details on the matter.

Holdings of Investissement Québec, which had investments of about C$2.7bn as of 31 March, include loans and a stake in Québec mining company Stornoway Diamond.

Cliffs Natural Resources produces low-volatile metallurgical coal in the US from its mines located in West Virginia and Alabama, operates an iron ore mining complex in Western Australia, and owns two non-operating iron ore mines in Eastern Canada.