Canadian miner engaged on proposal to maintain Nunavut iron mine open

Baffinland workers meet with neighborhood members in Arctic Bay on Dec. 8, as a part of consultations on the corporate’s sustained operations proposal. (Baffinland through Nunatsiaq Information)

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. is creating a proposal to maintain its Mary River iron ore mine operating.

The plan, which the corporate calls a “Sustaining Operations Proposal,” comes a bit of greater than a month after federal Northern Affairs Minister Daniel Vandal’s Nov. 16 rejection of its section two proposal to develop operations and double its transport output from the mine, about 150 kilometers southwest of Pond Inlet.

Baffinland had mentioned it wanted to develop its Mary River operation as a way to hold it viable. With out the federal government’s approval of the enlargement, the corporate mentioned it might need to shut the mine.

Baffinland started posting details about its plan to maintain the mine happening its Fb web page on Dec. 7.

The corporate lately completed a tour of three of the 5 North Baffin communities to get suggestions on the proposal, mentioned Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. spokesperson Peter Akman in an e-mail.

“Following overview of suggestions from these events, the ultimate submission might be offered to the regulators,” he mentioned. The Nunavut Impression Assessment Board advises the federal authorities on the social and financial impacts of growth tasks.

Akman mentioned Baffinland representatives visited Arctic Bay, Clyde River and Pond Inlet, however unhealthy climate meant the workforce’s flights to Igloolik and Sanirajak have been cancelled. Visits to these communities might be made within the new 12 months, he mentioned.

Clyde River Mayor Alan Cormack instructed Nunatsiaq Information he attended the assembly, the place he instructed Baffinland representatives his considerations concerning the mine’s potential environmental impacts.

“I’m apprehensive concerning the quantity of transport,” he mentioned.

Regardless of that, Cormack mentioned he needs to see extra Inuit working on the mine if it have been to remain open.

Nunatsiaq Information was unable to succeed in the mayors of Arctic Bay and Pond Inlet.

Baffinland’s proposal seeks to proceed the mine’s present operations of trucking and transport six million tonnes of iron ore per 12 months, which the corporate first began doing in 2018 and was accepted once more to do in 2022.

However persevering with to function at present ranges means Baffinland wants to use to the Nunavut Impression Assessment Board to amend the Mary River mission certificates. At this level, it is just accepted to ship 4.2 million tonnes in 2023.

“Baffinland might be asking communities to think about an possibility that can see the mission proceed on the present permitted ranges,” Akman mentioned.

He mentioned the corporate is searching for suggestions from the communities and also will “deal with communities’ questions and uncertainties arising from the minister’s rejection of the Section 2 Proposal.”

“Utility supplies filed would mirror neighborhood and [Qikiqtani Inuit Association] suggestions and data that has been a part of earlier regulatory and monitoring processes,” Akman mentioned.

“It’s our hope that this method would scale back the regulatory burden for members, whereas assembly the necessity to present certainty for the operations.”

Brian Penney, Baffinland’s chief govt officer, mentioned in a press release the corporate is asking Inuit to “think about choices for regulatory and operational stability for the present mission, to provide all of us a chance to concentrate on the long-term imaginative and prescient for Mary River.”

“In the end, Baffinland should swap to a rail operation for the financial longevity of the mission, however persevering with the accepted trucking and transport ranges in 2023 and past would permit us to maintain operations, preserve essential industrial relationships, proceed to supply employment and ship advantages to communities on North Baffin Island,” he mentioned.

Penney is scheduled to talk on the upcoming Northern Lights convention in Ottawa in February, the place he plans to handle the way forward for the Mary River mine.