Nunavut mining company takes icebreaking off the table – by Lisa Gregoire (Nunatsiaq News – November 6, 2017)

Baffinland Iron Mines, which operates the Mary River mine in North Baffin, has scrapped its plans for winter icebreaking in Eclipse Sound.

The mining company had been seeking an amendment to the North Baffin Regional Land Use Plan to permit limited icebreaking so they could bring in a maximum of two winter sea lifts of freight from December to February.

“Baffinland has reviewed the comments submitted by the parties and has considered the concerns expressed by the community of Pond Inlet,” wrote Todd Burlingame, vice-president sustainable development for Baffinland, in a letter to the Nunavut Planning Commission.

“Baffinland has reconsidered the need for seeking an amendment to the [land use plan] to allow for annual winter sea lifts and is formally withdrawing the proposed winter sea lift from the proposed amendment application.”

That’s good news, says Joe Enook, recently re-elected MLA for Tununiq, the constituency that includes his hometown of Pond Inlet. “A lot of people don’t realize that Baffinland has really, in my opinion, tried to accommodate the community of Pond Inlet by changing their focus over the years,” Enook said.

Baffinland, currently operating under its early revenue phase at the Mary River mine, first approached the Nunavut Impact Review Board three years ago with changes to phase two of its operational plan. That would have included winter icebreaking and ore shipping, and transforming its tote road, which runs from the mine site to the port, into a railway line.

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