Northern Affairs ministry says it can’t approve Baffinland’s emergency request (CBC News North – May 31, 2022)

The mining company threatened last week to lay off over 1,300 employees if its emergency order is not approved

The office of the minister of Northern Affairs says it has no authority to grant Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation’s request for an emergency order to allow the company to continue to mine six million tonnes of ore this year from its Mary River mine in Nunavut. The current cap is 4.2 million tonnes.

It comes after Baffin land sent the request for the order to Minister Dan Vandal’s office on May 20. On Monday, Kyle Allen, a spokesperson for the ministry, said in an email to CBC News that while it is reviewing the company’s request, granting the order is not within its jurisdiction.

“Following a request…. for the minister to unilaterally increase the permit, the minister noted he had no such authority and notified the proponent that they should make a request directly to the Nunavut Impact Review Board,” Allen wrote.

He noted that Baffinland has since submitted a request to NIRB to continue to extract six million tones of ore for the rest of the year. “We encourage the proponent to continue doing the work they promised … work with partners in a responsible way, respect the independent NIRB process.”

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