The regional Inuit organization that represents the Inuit on Baffin Island is signalling it will likely oppose the proposed expansion of the Mary River iron ore mine because of the damage it believes would be wreaked on the environment and on the livelihoods of the Indigenous population.
Privately held Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. has proposed doubling its production at Mary River to 12 million tonnes a year.
The Oakville, Ont.-based miner also wants to build a railroad that would transport ore from its complex in North Baffin to Milne Port, about 100 kilometres away. Baffinland says the expansion is crucial to turn a marginal operation into a profit-making one.
But the proposed expansion has enraged many local stakeholders, including a group of Inuit hunters who recently staged a blockade at the mine site.
Almost all of Baffinland’s operations are on Inuit-owned lands that were negotiated as part of a landmark settlement agreement with the federal government in 1993.
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