Archive | Canada Mining – North of 60

Nunavut mine’s study on caribou roundly rejected – by Thomas Rohner (CBC News North – March 2, 2021)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/

Agnico Eagle commissions study that finds mining road has virtually no impact on migrating caribou

A scientific analysis commissioned by Agnico Eagle that found the mining road near Meliadine Mine in the Kivalliq region is having virtually no impact on migrating caribou is being roundly criticized by Nunavut agencies.

“It became pretty clear that they’re not analyzing data correctly,” Clayton Tartak, research coordinator with the Kivalliq Wildlife Board, told CBC News.

Community organizations and members near the mine participated in a roundtable discussion held by the Nunavut Impact Review Board last month. Continue Reading →

Key Inuit organization signals it will oppose Baffinland iron ore mine expansion – by Niall McGee (February 22, 2021)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

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. Continue Reading →

Nunavut mine says it’s not allowed to harm Inuit harvesting – by Beth Brown (CBC News North – February 17, 2021)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/

In the wake of last week’s blockade, Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation says it has heard the call to slow down plans to expand production at the Mary River mine.

“It’s unfortunate that they felt they had to go to those extremes to be heard,” said Udloriak Hanson, Baffinland’s vice-president of community and sustainable development, about the protesters who blockaded the mine’s airstrip and trucking road for a week.

Baffinland wants to double the mine’s output from six to 12 million tonnes of iron ore by building a railway and increasing shipping through a narwhal habitat. The protesters say that would damage the environment, and affect their harvesting rights. Continue Reading →

Mary River mine blockade highlights Nunavut Agreement’s fatal flaw – by Jim Bell (Nunatsiaq News – February 12, 2021)

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The land claim agreement empowers Inuit organizations — and disempowers Inuit communities

All of us who care about Nunavut will be relieved that the protesters who occupied the Mary River mine’s airstrip and tote road for most of this past week have decided to end their blockade. Because in doing so, they’ve avoided a potentially ugly confrontation.

The protesters, who call themselves the Nuluujaat Land Guardians, blockaded Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.’s mine on north Baffin over this past week to oppose its proposed expansion, and to protest the Qikiqtani Inuit Association’s role in the process.

The expansion, which is still before a public hearing, would double the mine’s output and see a 110-kilometre railway combined with up to 176 ship-transits through the environmentally sensitive waters of Eclipse Sound. Continue Reading →

Inuit hunters’ blockade at Mary River iron ore mine lifted after meeting proposed to discuss concerns – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – February 12, 2021)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

A week-long blockade by a small group of Inuit subsistence hunters at the Mary River iron ore mine in Nunavut has been lifted, after protestors received encouraging signs that their concerns about a planned expansion of the mine will be heard.

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. has proposed doubling its production of iron ore at Mary River to 12 million tonnes a year. The privately held miner also wants to build a railroad that would transport ore from its complex in North Baffin to Milne Port, about 100 kilometres away.

On the evening of Feb. 4, a group of hunters set up blockades at an airstrip and supply road at the mine in Baffin Island. The hunters said they were concerned that a bigger operation at Mary River could decimate the marine mammal population, which they depend upon for food. Continue Reading →

The Dragon roams the Arctic – by Dr A. Adityanjee (Sunday Guardian Live – February 6, 2021)

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Dr A. Adityanjee is President, The Council for Strategic Affairs.

The Arctic region is home to almost four million inhabitants, of which approximately one-tenth are indigenous people. The United States Geological Survey estimates that up to 25-30% of the world’s remaining oil and natural gas resources might be held within the Arctic Region.

The five littoral states, Canada, Russia, USA (Alaska), Denmark (Greenland) and Norway, have competing claims over the Arctic. Together with the five Arctic littoral states, three regional states, Finland, Iceland and Sweden, constitute the eight-member Arctic Council.

The Arctic is considered the final frontier for the human to conquer. Resource competition and human migration will become facts of life in the Arctic region as the snow melts. Continue Reading →

Baffinland seeks court injunction to permanently end Inuit blockade at Nunavut mine – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – February 11, 2021)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. is seeking a court injunction to permanently end an almost week-long blockade by Inuit subsistence hunters that has caused havoc at its Mary River iron ore mine in Nunavut.

Last Thursday, a group of hunters set up blockades at an airstrip and supply road at the mine, saying their concerns about a planned expansion of the facility haven’t been heard. They fear an expansion would hurt the environment and their livelihoods.

Oakville, Ont.-based Baffinland said the blockades are preventing employees from leaving the mine, and stopping key supplies, such as food and medicine, from getting in. Continue Reading →

Inuit hunters blockade iron mine in freezing temperatures over expansion – by Leyland Cecco (The Guardian – February 9, 2021)

https://www.theguardian.com/

Standoff exposes tensions between large Inuit organizations with power to approve permits and residents of small communities

A group of Inuit hunters have braved nearly a week of freezing temperatures to blockade a remote iron mine in northern Canada, in protest over an expansion plan they say will harm local wildlife.

The blockade, which has prompted solidarity rallies in other Nunavut communities, has also exposed growing tensions between large Inuit organizations with the power to approve development permits – and residents of the small communities where the impact of such projects is felt.

Since 5 February, seven hunters have created a makeshift barrier of snowmobiles and sleds to block the airstrip and service road of the Mary River ore mine, halting operations. Temperatures in recent days have dipped to the low -30sC. Continue Reading →

Mary River mine needs a railway to survive, new economic report says – by Jim Bell (Nunatsiaq News – February 8, 2021)

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Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.’s Mary River mine is unlikely to survive without a railway to carry greater quantities of ore to Milne Inlet, says a report commissioned by the company.

The report, titled Mary River Project Economics Explained, was submitted to the Nunavut Impact Review Board this month during its public hearing on Baffinland’s expansion proposal for the Mary River mine, which adjourned Feb. 6 and is to resume in March.

The company filed the economic report in response to an earlier economic analysis done for the Oceans North conservation group by a firm called OpenOil, which said Baffinland’s existing truck route is capable of making a profit for the company. Continue Reading →

Mary River mine at a standstill as hunters’ blockades enter 5th day – by Dustin Patar (Nunatsiaq News – February 8, 2021)

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A blockade of the Mary River iron mine continued into its fifth day, as a group of hunters opposed to the mine’s expansion demanded they be recognized as an Inuit association and be paid a portion of the royalties the mine generates.

“We would like to see actual negotiations with the most impacted communities and have us involved right away,” said Naymen Inuarak, one of the hunters currently at the Mary River mine site, in an interview via satellite phone. “We’ve been ignored way too long.”

Late last Thursday, a group of seven hunters from Arctic Bay and Pond Inlet arrived at the mine site and shut down the airstrip and road that leads to Milne Inlet, in protest of the mine’s Phase 2 expansion. Continue Reading →

Commentary: Poor information allowed to be tabled on Mary River economics – by Ken Armstrong (Nunatsiaq News – February 2021)

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Ken Armstrong is the President of the NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines.

I write in reference to the Jan. 30 Nunatsiaq News story, “Despite Baffinland’s claims, truck route still makes money, expert says,” discussing the findings of a report commissioned by Oceans North and prepared by a Berlin-based third-party consultant, OpenOil, that was submitted to the Nunavut Impact Review Board public registry.

Stepping back for a moment, the purpose of the current NIRB hearing is to facilitate informed decision-making by the board with respect to Baffinland’s Mary River phase-two proposal.

Under the Nunavut Agreement, the primary functions of the NIRB include review of environmental and socio-economic impacts of project proposals in order to make a determination about whether the project should proceed for subsequent consideration by the minister. Continue Reading →

Inuit hunters blockade Nunavut iron ore mine in effort to have environmental concerns heard – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – February 6, 2021)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

A small gathering of Inuit subsistence hunters are staging a blockade at the Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. complex in Nunavut, claiming that their concerns about a proposed expansion of the Mary River mine have not been heard.

Privately-held Baffinland said that two groups of hunters had gathered at the mine on Baffin Island on Thursday night – one at the company’s airstrip, and the other on the supply road that leads out of the mine.

The Oakville, Ont.-based miner has proposed doubling its production of iron ore at Mary River to 12 million tonnes a year, from six million tonnes. Continue Reading →

Sale of Ekati mine to Arctic Canadian Diamond closes (Canadian Mining Journal – February 4, 2021)

http://www.canadianminingjournal.com/

Dominion Diamond‘s sale of Canada’s first diamond mine, Ekati, to Arctic Canadian Diamond Company has been completed.

Full operations at the site, which had been placed on care and maintenance at the beginning of the pandemic last March, resumed on Jan. 20 after a 10-week restart that began in November. A “full recall” of employees is expected to be complete by Feb. 25.

Arctic Canadian is owned by DDJ Capital Management, Brigade Capital Management, LP and Western Asset Management Company, LLC. In a sale that was approved in December, the company acquired the asset in return for assuming US$70 million of Dominion’s outstanding indebtedness under its existing revolving credit agreement, as well as the reclamation obligations for Ekati. Continue Reading →

Final hearings extended for Nunavut mine expansion – by Beth Brown (CBC News North – February 3, 2021)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/

Environmental hearings for an expansion of the Mary River Mine on north Baffin Island are being extended, again.

An additional hearing is now being planned for March, the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) announced Tuesday, after a two-week technical meeting being held in Iqaluit and Pond Inlet fell a week behind schedule,

“The board is planning to hold the extended session in Iqaluit and plans to bring together up to five community representatives representing the hamlet, hunters and trappers organization, women, youth and elders from each of the seven communities, including representatives from Pond Inlet, all together in one venue,” said Kaviq Kaluraq, chair of the review board, when announcing the schedule changes. Continue Reading →

OPINION | It’s about time Yukon Rendezvous dropped the colonialist ‘Sourdough’ – by Lori Fox (CBC News North – February 2, 2021)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/

Yukon’s beloved Gold Rush history is ‘a hot mess of highly questionable colonial behaviour,’ argues Lori Fox

Organizers of the one-time Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous festival — either an all-ages winter carnival or a week-long bender, depending on your proclivities — recently announced they are dropping “Sourdough” from their name, and the festival would be hitherto known simply as “Yukon Rendezvous.”

The decision, they said, was the result of public feedback around the colonial nature of the word.

The name change was met with fury from some Yukoners, many of whom took to social media and called it an “erasure” of Yukon history — by which they mean settler history, specifically that of the Klondike Gold Rush, from which “sourdough,” as a moniker denoting a fortune-seeker who overwintered in the territory, originates. Continue Reading →