Commentary: Poor information allowed to be tabled on Mary River economics – by Ken Armstrong (Nunatsiaq News – February 2021)


Ken Armstrong is the President of the NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines.

I write in reference to the Jan. 30 Nunatsiaq News story, “Despite Baffinland’s claims, truck route still makes money, expert says,” discussing the findings of a report commissioned by Oceans North and prepared by a Berlin-based third-party consultant, OpenOil, that was submitted to the Nunavut Impact Review Board public registry.

Stepping back for a moment, the purpose of the current NIRB hearing is to facilitate informed decision-making by the board with respect to Baffinland’s Mary River phase-two proposal.

Under the Nunavut Agreement, the primary functions of the NIRB include review of environmental and socio-economic impacts of project proposals in order to make a determination about whether the project should proceed for subsequent consideration by the minister.

It is also important to note that the Mary River deposit is located entirely on Inuit owned land.

With this context in mind, I would point out that “making money” at current high iron ore prices is very different from long term, responsible operation of a viable mine capable of providing good jobs, education and training, along with billions of dollars of royalty payments to Inuit organizations and public governments.

For the rest of this column: