Deputy minister tells NIRB expansion could also increase access to country food
The government of Nunavut has painted a gloomy picture of the territory should Baffinland’s Phase 2 expansion not proceed.
Baffinland is seeking approval to double its production at its Mary River iron ore mine south-west of Pond Inlet.
The Nunavut Impact Review Board was holding a final series of hearings last week in Iqaluit to consider the Phase 2 expansion proposal. But the hearings were suspended indefinitely on Wednesday following Iqaluit’s first confirmed case of COVID-19.
Before the hearings wrapped up, Baffinland had its opportunity to question intervenors and fire back at criticisms it had previously received – it only got halfway through its five-hour allotment.
‘These are jobs to provide the basics of life.’
While the mine’s proposal has pitted economic benefit against environmental protections, Jimi Onalik, the government of Nunavut’s deputy minister of economic development, said the expansion is about improving the quality of life for Nunavummiut.