Quebec’s government will pay up to $20 million toward a feasibility study determining the need for a new rail link to enhance iron ore miners’ access via the Labrador Trough to global markets.

This came among other measures announced by Finance Minister Carlos Leitao this week to support mining development in the French-Canadian province’s 2014-2015 budget. The costs will be drawn from the Northern Plan Fund.

Champion Iron Ltd. Chairman Michael O’Keeffe hailed the decision as a source of job creation and investment. “It will help to establish Quebec as a region of international significance,” he said. “At a time of uncertainty, this decision will be a defining point in the history of the mining industry in Quebec.”

The Labrador Trough has long been a focus of interest by major steel industry groups, he added, with its access to a range of listed and private iron-ore groups active in the region; these include Australia-based Champion Iron.

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