Hearings on Baffinland expansion in Nunavut close with criticism from Pond Inlet – by Jane George (CBC News Canada North – November 6, 2021)


After three years, four hearings, two cancellations and other restrictions imposed by COVID-19, the fate of Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation’s proposed Mary River expansion project is now in hands of the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB).

The most affected Nunavut community does not embrace the mining company’s plans for growth. “We don’t want to sacrifice our culture and tradition for jobs and benefits,” said Enookie Inuarak, of Pond Inlet’s hunters and trappers organization, on the final day of the NIRB hearing in Iqaluit.

Inuarak said it sounded like the company was “trying to buy us,” with repeated statements about jobs and money, and threats about putting the mine into care and maintenance if the expansion didn’t proceed.

Six days of hearings wrapped up on Saturday afternoon. The NIRB will now start to form a recommendation on the expansion project for Daniel Vandal, the minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, who will have the final say on whether it can go ahead. Baffinland wants to grow its production, increase shipping, and build a railway to bring ore to the Milne Inlet port.

For the rest of this article: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/communities-baffinland-expansion-review-1.6240130