Sad cost of China’s plan to ditch Australia – by Ben Graham ( – July 4, 2022)

China is on a mission to break its dependence on Australia at all costs, but a new report has revealed the superpower is leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. One of the key ingredients it needs to fuel its ambitious growth plans to become the world’s most powerful and influential nation is iron ore, which is one of the main raw materials to make steel.

Australia is the biggest exporter of the red stuff which is mined largely in Western Australia’s Pilbara region and pumps an astronomical amount of money into the nation’s economy.

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Baffinland starts process to lay off up to 1,328 employees in Nunavut (CBC News North – June 6, 2022)

Letter to Nunavut government gives notice of mass terminations starting Aug. 31

Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation intends to lay off up to 1,328 employees – including 209 Inuit – later this year, according to a notice the company served to the Nunavut government. The letter, dated June 3, says the mass terminations are expected between Aug. 31 and Oct. 31.

However, Joseph Tigullaraq, the head of northern affairs at Baffinland, said Monday afternoon that the company is still working to get approval from the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) to continue shipping six million tonnes of ore from its Mary River mine this year to prevent the layoffs.

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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.

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QIA calling for Baffinland to mitigate damage from existing iron ore mine in Nunavut, as it awaits Federal decision on expansion proposal – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – May 20, 2022)

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association, or QIA, is calling on Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. to make immediate improvements to mitigate environmental damage from its iron ore operations in Nunavut, as stakeholders wait for Ottawa’s decision on whether a planned expansion of the mine is allowed to go ahead.

Earlier this month, the Nunavut Impact Review Board, or NIRB, issued a long-awaited report that recommended against the expansion, saying it has the potential to result in “significant adverse ecosystemic effects on marine mammals and fish, caribou and other terrestrial wildlife.”

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Nunavut hunters urge Baffinland mine to stop icebreaking, citing narwhal decline (CBC News North – May 11, 2022)

Nunavut hunters and environmental groups say shipping activity from Baffinland’s Mary River mine is having a real and potentially lasting effect on narwhal numbers in the area.They’re calling on the mining company to, again, alter its shipping plans this year as a precaution.

In a letter to Nunavut regulators last week, the Pond Inlet-based Mittimatalik Hunters & Trappers Organization (HTO) says the abundance of narwhal summering in Eclipse Sound has been in steady decline in recent years and that Baffinland is responsible.

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Some in Nunavut community question where money from mining company has gone – by Emma Tranter (CBC News North – April 29, 2022)

Baffinland offering no details on how it spent $42.9 million in Sanirajak, pop. 850

A company that runs the largest mining operation in Nunavut says it has given tens of millions of dollars in contracts to Inuit firms in the hamlet of Sanirajak, but some residents say they don’t know where that money has gone.

An Oct. 18, 2021, memo from Baffinland Iron Mines, which runs the Mary River iron ore mine near Pond Inlet, summarizes community engagement with its neighbours. A section of the memo highlights direct benefits to Sanirajak, a community of about 850 people, including $42.9 million awarded to Inuit firms there since 2018.

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‘Judge me on my actions’: can Andrew Forrest become Australia’s clean, green hero? – by Tory Shepherd (The Guardian – March 26, 2022)

The billionaire mining magnate known as Twiggy may be emulating Bill Gates with the scale of his philanthropy, but not everyone is convinced

Andrew Forrest says he isn’t after power. He didn’t aim to become wealthy. The 27.2 billion dollar man just “wants to leave the world a better place”.

The American novelist John Barth wrote that “everyone is necessarily the hero of his own life story”. Forrest is certainly that. But his story – including, but not limited to, the staggering success of his iron ore business and the even more staggering ambition of his clean energy plans – is writ large enough for others to read. And they don’t all see him as a white knight.

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Guinea junta halts Rio Tinto’s Simandou iron ore project – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – March 11, 2022)

Guinea’s ruling junta has ordered a full halt of Rio Tinto’s (ASX, LON, NYSE: RIO) vast Simandou iron ore project in the country’s southeast, with interim president Mamady Doumbouya saying it is not clear how the mine will preserve national interests.

The current government, who took power in a military coup in September, said in a statement that Doumbouya had not seen any progress in that direction, despite having discussed the matter with Rio’s boss Jakob Stausholm in December.

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Deadline for Mary River Phase Two expansion extended; lingering environmental concerns remain – by Trevor Wright (Nunavut News – February 14, 2022)

Front Page

On Jan. 31, Baffinland Iron Mines filed its closing statement to the Nunavut Impact Review Board in support of its proposed phase two expansion of the Mary River Mine.

The proposed timeline for the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) to reach its decision and forward findings to the federal minister of Northern Affairs was 45 days from Baffinland’s closing statement being submitted. However, due to the “overwhelming’”quantity of information to digest, the regulatory body concluded an additional 60 days is required.

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COLUMN-Iron ore fundamentals appear at odds with Beijing’s lower price wish – by Clyde Russell ( – February 10, 2022)

LAUNCESTON, Australia, Feb 10 (Reuters) – China is once again trying to talk down the price of iron ore, with the state planner warning that market players “should not fabricate or publish any false price information.”

The problem for the authorities in Beijing is that iron ore prices seem perfectly capable of rallying on actual supply and demand fundamentals.

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Deadly Mining Disaster Still Tests Vale Three Years Later – by Alistair MacDonald and Samantha Pearson (Wall Street Journal – January 29, 2022)

Mining company ponders its metals future as costs from Brumadinho continue to rise—along with tensions with locals, regulators and investors

NOVA LIMA, Brazil—Three years after Vale SA’s Brumadinho disaster, the fallout from the dam collapse that killed 270 people still looms large over the mining giant.

Costs related to the incident have continued to rack up, Brazilian authorities have been slow to permit further mining amid safety concerns, simmering tensions between the miner and locals have resulted in a shower of lawsuits and some investors say it is too soon to reinvest in the company.

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China’s plan to end its Australian iron ore dependency – by Michael Smith (Australian Financial Review – December 2, 2021)

Tokyo | China will boost domestic iron ore production by 30 per cent, significantly ramp up investments in overseas mines and strengthen scrap steel recycling under a plan designed to break Beijing’s dependency on Australia’s most valuable commodity export.

China’s top steel industry executives and senior government officials outlined a strategy for achieving the five-year targets in an article published this week, which highlights the Chinese government’s frustration with volatile iron ore prices and its desire to follow Japan’s lead by investing heavily in offshore mines.

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Greenland strips Chinese mining firm of licence to iron ore deposit (South China Morning Post – November 23, 2021)

Greenland said on Monday it has stripped a Chinese mining company of its licence to an iron ore deposit near the capital Nuuk, dealing a blow to attempts by Chinese companies to gain a foothold on the resource-rich Arctic island.

General Nice, a Chinese coal and iron ore importer, took control of the Isua mine project in 2015, replacing previous owner London Mining, which went bankrupt.

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Vale unit to invest US$800mn in dry iron ore processing technology ( – November 9, 2021)

Brazilian iron ore mining giant Vale, through its tech subsidiary New Steel, signed a protocol of intent with southeast state Minas Gerais to invest 4.4bn reais (US$795mn) in technology that eliminates the need for tailings dams.

The funds will be used to implement an innovative dry iron ore processing technology that drastically reduces the environmental impact and extends the life of mines, the state government said in a release. The process also will also create jobs and more revenue for three municipalities, it added.

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Mining magnate Gina Rinehart looks to expand iron ore empire into WA’s Goldfields region – by Jarrod Lucas (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – November 15, 2021)

Mining magnate Gina Rinehart has struck a deal to buy into an iron ore project in WA’s northern Goldfields, further expanding her iron ore empire which includes the Roy Hill mine in the Pilbara.

A subsidiary of Ms Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting has struck a deal to form new joint venture agreement with the owners of the Mt Bevan project, 100 kilometres west of Leonora.

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