Hunters still oppose winter sealift and railway for Mary River mine near Pond Inlet, Nunavut – by Sara Frizzell (CBC News North – October 11, 2017)

For several years, Baffinland Iron Mines has been trying to get permission for a railway and an extended shipping season for its Mary River mine — it’s still trying and hunters in Pond Inlet, Nunavut, are still opposed.

The mining company’s most recent proposal to the Nunavut Planning Commission was closed for public comments at the beginning of October and respondents are still wary of both elements of the revised plan.

In this iteration, Baffinland is looking for approval to build an 110-kilometre railway along the existing roadway, which connects the mine site to the Milne Inlet port site. It was also looking to extend the shipping season through to February by icebreaking.

Both the hamlet and the Pond Inlet Hunters and Trappers Organization (HTO) say the proposed activities will negatively affect the wildlife in the area. In its submission to the Nunavut Planning Commission, the HTO said the ice the company wishes to break is consistently in use by the community throughout those dark months.

It says the current level of shipping has already made the narwhal more scarce and it says it is worried about the effect on seals. “They are our only food source and no one will give us other sources,” the HTO said in its submission.

For the rest of this article: