Ottawa sends clear message on environment and Indigenous rights by rejecting Baffinland’s iron ore expansion plans in Arctic – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – November 17, 2022)

The federal government has blocked Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.’s plans for a massive production increase in Nunavut, sending a strong message to the mining industry that any future large resource development in the Far North must be offset by sufficient environmental damage mitigation and proper consultation with the Inuit.

Baffinland, based in Oakville, Ont., had hoped to double its production of iron ore at its Baffin Island mine in Nunavut to 12 million tonnes a year, from six million tonnes.

Read more

In wake of mine expansion rejection, Baffinland set to head back to communities for talks – by Amy Tucker (CBC News North – November 19, 2022)

‘There has to be that constant dialogue, in order to fully work together in collaboration,’ says Paul Quassa

Baffinland Iron Mines is not giving up hope that it can win over Nunavut communities, along with the hunters and trappers groups. After the company’s proposed mine expansion project was rejected by the federal minister this week, Baffinland’s Paul Quassa says the company will head to communities before Christmas for more talks.

“We’re constantly going to the communities,” said Quassa, a senior advisor with the company and an Iqaluit city councillor. He said it’s all about “having good communications” with people and the hunters and trappers in each of the communities.

Read more

Ottawa turns down Baffinland’s iron ore expansion plans in Nunavut – by Naill McGee (Globe and Mail – November 16, 2022)

Ottawa has turned down Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.’s application to increase its iron ore output in Nunavut, citing environmental concerns, putting an end to a multiyear conflict that sparked a national debate about responsible resource development in Canada.

Oakville, Ont.-based Baffinland had hoped to double its production of iron ore at its Baffin Island mine in Nunavut to 12 million tonnes a year, from six million tonnes.

Read more

Baffinland gets a green light to continue mining in Nunavut, saving more than 1,000 jobs – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – October 5, 2022)

The federal government approved Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.’s request for a bigger extraction limit at its mine on Baffin Island, avoiding the firing of more than 1,000 workers who had been told they would lose their jobs this month unless their employer was given permission to ramp up production.

Baffinland, owned by private equity firm Energy and Minerals Group and steel giant ArcelorMittal SA, sent the termination notices at the end of July, putting pressure on regulators to make a decision on its request to increase its extraction limit of iron ore to six million tonnes from the original allowance of 4.2 million tonnes.

Read more

Foot-dragging on Baffinland mine approval emblematic of a government that doesn’t take Northern workers seriously – by Peter MacKay (National Post – October 4, 2022)

The fact that over 1,000 families could have had their main source of income taken away is bad enough, but what makes it worse is that it didn’t seem to even register in Ottawa or the rest of Canada

Nunavut’s biggest contributor to its overall gross domestic product just narrowly missed terminating more than 1,100 of its employees due to one thing: a lack of regulatory approvals.

The company, Baffinland Iron Mines, runs an open pit mining operation on North Baffin Island in the Arctic, which provides jobs to the local Inuit and is a significant contributor to the territory’s economy.

Read more

Baffinland jobs safe for now – by David Venn (Nunatsiaq News – September 22, 2022)

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. has pushed back the date it was to start letting go its Mary River mine employees. The move came Thursday after the Nunavut Impact Review Board issued a positive recommendation on the company’s application for a higher iron ore shipping limit.

The mining company can prevent “potential significant adverse ecosystemic and socioeconomic effects” if it improves adaptive management and monitoring programs, board chairperson Marjorie Kaviq Kaluraq wrote in a letter to federal Northern Affairs Minister Daniel Vandal Thursday.

Read more

Global collaboration essential to realise $1.4tr iron, steel decarbonisation investment – by Marleny Arnoldi (Mining Weekly – September 15, 2022)

To meet 2050 climate goals, the global iron and steel industry will require $1.4-trillion of investment across the value chain, from mining to steelmaking, estimates research and consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie (WoodMac).

A research report, titled ‘Pedal to the metal: iron and steel’s $1.4-trillion shot at decarbonisation’, published by WoodMac states that iron and steel emit 3.4-billion tonnes of carbon a year combined, equal to 7% of global emissions. This while steel demand growth is not slowing down, and is estimated to reach 2.2-billion tonnes a year by 2050 – 15% higher than the demand for steel in 2021.

Read more

Baffinland promotes proposed production increase at Nunavut regulator meeting – by Jane George (Eye On The Arctic/ – August 17, 2022)

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. says it will stop production at its Mary River iron mine, end shipping and cut jobs to about 80 on site if its request to increase its 2022 production isn’t approved by the Nunavut Impact Review Board.

About 300 Inuit are now employed at the mine, the company said. “That’s a lot of lives that will be impacted,” said Baffinland’s vice-president Megan Lord-Hoyle Tuesday at the review board’s community roundtable in Pond Inlet.

Read more

Why Australian iron ore could save Taiwan as China ponders the economic ramifications of invasion – by Ian Verrender (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – August 14, 2022)

As the dark clouds of war gathered over north-east Asia in 1938, a curious battle took place at home which forever tainted the memory of Liberal Party founder Sir Robert Menzies and that could be a portend of what lies ahead.

Then-Attorney General in the Lyons government, Menzies became embroiled in a fight with waterfront unions in Port Kembla over the loading of a British steamer, the SS Dalfram, with BHP produced pig-iron bound for Japan.

Read more

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.

Read more

Over a thousand workers face layoffs in Nunavut as Baffinland permit in limbo – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – August 3, 2022)

Waiting on ruling from federal government about extraction limits

More than 1,000 workers at Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. received termination notices and might be out of work by October if the Nunavut-based miner’s extraction permit isn’t renewed by the Federal government, the company said on Wednesday.

The workers received their notices on July 31, company spokesman Peter Akman said. He added that the notices would be rescinded if Baffinland receives the permit to increase its annual extraction limit of iron ore to six million tonnes from its original allowance of 4.2 million tonnes.

Read more

Baffinland issues layoff notices to more than 1,100 employees – by David Venn(Nunatsiaq News – August 2, 2022)


Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. has sent layoff notices to more than 1,100 of its employees. The company sent the notices July 31, said spokesperson Peter Akman. The first round of layoffs is scheduled to happen Sept. 25, and the second on Oct. 11.

“The company has had to take this step out of an abundance of caution,” Akman wrote in an email to Nunatsiaq News. Baffinland operates an iron mine on north Baffin Island, where it employs about 350 Inuit.

Read more

Federal minister delays Baffinland decision by another 90 days (CBC News North – July 12, 2022)

Dan Vandal wants to ensure Inuit have ‘adequate time’ to mull NIRB report

The minister of Northern Affairs needs more time to make a major decision on the future of iron mining on Baffin Island. In a letter Monday to the Nunavut Impact Review Board, Dan Vandal says he’ll need an extra 90 days to decide whether a major expansion of Baffinland Iron Mines should go ahead.

On May 13, after four years of intensive review, the board recommended the proposed expansion not be allowed to proceed. Normal procedures give the federal minister 90 days to accept, vary or reject the board’s recommendation. That would have meant a decision by mid-August.

Read more

BHP loses appeal to multibillion lawsuit over Samarco disaster – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – July 8, 2022)

BHP (ASX: BHP) said on Friday it had lost an appeal in a London court seeking to block an over £5 billion ($6bn-plus) lawsuit by 200,000 Brazilians over a deadly dam failure in Brazil seven years ago.

The group claim, one of the largest in British legal history, alleged that BHP, the world’s largest miner by market value, ignored safety warnings as the dam’s capacity was repeatedly increased by raising its height – and disregarded cracks that pointed to early signs of rupture.

Read more

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.

Read more