Baffinland will get nod from Nunavut board to increase Mary River operation till year-end

Baffinland Iron Mines has acquired a constructive advice from the Nunavut Impression Evaluation Board (NIRB) to briefly enhance manufacturing at its Mary River iron ore mine in Canada’s Nunavut territory to six million tonnes by to the top of the yr.

The choice, the corporate mentioned, might assist it hold the mine viable and take greater than 1,100 jobs off the chopping block this fall.

Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal, nevertheless, has the ultimate phrase and there hasn’t been any data on when that call would possibly come.

“Out of care and concern for the livelihoods of our workers and their households, we’re delaying the issuance of termination notices till October twentieth, which is the skin date the minister’s workplace has indicated it is going to be in a position to reply to the NIRB advice,” the corporate mentioned.

Whereas Baffinland is happy in regards to the NIRB’s determination, it’s urging the minister to approve the manufacturing enhance for the remainder of the yr.

Vandal can be nonetheless contemplating whether or not to approve Mary River’s Section 2, which proposes a railway to Milne Inlet, in addition to a rise in allowed shipments to 12 tonnes of iron ore per yr, with eventual plans to extend that quantity. The NIRB earlier rejected that plan.

Growth detractors have argued for months that increasing the mine’s capability would have an effect on the world’s densest narwhal inhabitants. 

Narwhals are a sort of whale with a protracted, spear-like tusk that protrudes from their heads. The marine mammal is a vital predator in Eclipse Sound and different Arctic waters, in addition to a serious meals supply for Inuit within the area.

Final yr, a bunch of hunters from Arctic Bay and Pond Inlet blocked entry to the mine in protest over the corporate’s ice breaking practices attributable to their detrimental impacts on narwhals. The corporate agreed to keep away from ice breaking in spring, primarily based on “the precautionary precept that’s the basis of our adaptive administration plan,” Baffinland’s CEO mentioned in a press release on the time.

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