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Baffinland ships 5.1 million tonnes of ore from Mary River

Shipping season has officially closed at the Mary River mine.

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. announced Nov. 8 its plans to ship ore out from July 24 to October 17 were a success.

photo courtesy Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.
Baffinland Iron Mines Corp announced Nov. 8 it finished off its shipping season as planned by Oct. 17, sending 5.1 million tonnes to market. It received federal approval for its production increase of ore to 6 Mt/a (megatonnes per annum) from 4.2 Mt/a Sept. 30.

"As we focus on our expansion program, a successful, safe, and responsible shipping season remains a critical component of our growth. Along with our employees, I want to thank all of our partners involved in making this program a success. This includes our shipping partners and the continued support of the North Baffin communities and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA)," stated president and chief executive officer Brian Penney.

The company stated it shipped approximately 5.1 million tonnes of iron ore from its Milne Inlet port to markets in Europe, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, and Japan. Seventy-one voyages carried an average of 71,750 tonnes of iron ore each over 86 days.

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. received federal approval for its production increase of ore to six million tonnes per year from 4.2 million tonnes Sept. 30 despite the Nunavut Impact Review Board recommending against it.

But QIA stepped in, showing support for the company after the renegotiation of its Inuit Impact Benefit Agreement.

"QIA pledged that it could only consider supporting the 2018 Production Increase Application if there was a consistent drive towards directly improving the lives of Inuit as a result of the project. QIA was no longer willing to accept inaction in key benefit areas such as Inuit training, employment, contracting and project monitoring and mitigation," stated the regional Inuit organization at the time.

Baffinland stated in its release that its shipping season establishes the record for the largest shipping program by volume ever executed in the Canadian High Arctic, surpassing Baffinland’s previous record of 4.1 million tonnes shipped in 2017.
Baffinland also carried out two Northern Sea Route transits to Asia, a first for iron ore bulk carriage, according to the news release.

The company touted its environmental standards it stated it worked out with North Baffin communities.

"This included providing real-time vessel locations and an onboard monitoring program supported by the Mittimatalik Hunters and Trappers Organization to ensure no adverse environmental impacts or impacts on Inuit shipping vessels," stated the company.

"These programs combined scientific and traditional Inuit knowledge."