Nunavut communities weigh in on Baffinland production increase – by Paul Tukker (CBC News North – August 3, 2022)

Arctic Bay, Pond Inlet register support for temporary increase again this year at mine

Baffinland Iron Mines’ request to boost its production again this year at its Mary River mine is getting mixed reaction from some Nunavut communities.

The request — which, if approved, would allow the company to mine up to six million tonnes of ore from its Mary River mine in 2022 — is now before the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB). And behind the request is a threat, with Baffinland saying more than 1,000 people will be laid off starting next month if it’s not approved.

The NIRB is soliciting written comments from communities, Inuit organizations and other stakeholders about whether the request should be granted. Some have already submitted their comments to NIRB ahead of the board’s deadline next week.

The hamlet of Pond Inlet, nearest the mine, is in favour, as is the hamlet of Arctic Bay. Both hamlet councils passed motions in July to support the temporary production increase. “As one of the smaller communities in Nunavut there are not many other opportunities for local employment,” Arctic Bay mayor Moses Oyukuluk wrote to the NIRB in June.

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