Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association have a new agreement for Inuit oversight of the Mary River Mine. Officials from both groups say it will be worth more than $1 billion over the life of the iron ore mine.
Announced Monday, the Inuit Certainty Agreement was signed on June 16. It’s been in the works since an environmental review of the mine’s production and rail expansion ended abruptly last fall, says PJ Akeeagok, president of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association.
The new, legally binding agreement clears up most technical concerns that previously left the Baffin Inuit organization unable to support the Nunavut Impact Review Board’s hearing for the phase-two expansion, which would increase production at Mary River.
“(The agreement) provides us a roadmap to resolve a lot of our outstanding issues,” Akeeagok said. “The concerns that we’ve heard in terms of the communities saying that their voices need to have weight, need to be able to influence what they are experiencing.”
The agreement is focused on environmental protection, and lays out mechanisms for making sure Inuit have a say in environmental monitoring, he said.
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