Just days before the resumption of regulatory hearings for Baffinland Iron Mines’ phase two proposal for its Mary River mine, the Hamlet of Arctic Bay is reaffirming its support for the mining expansion plans.

“The Hamlet of Arctic Bay has had a positive working experience with Baffinland and recognizes the economic value to the community and its residents in the training made available and the jobs that has been offered to local residents,” said Arctic Bay Mayor Moses Oyukuluk. “Baffinland has made several donations to support social and health related programs and activities in the community. We appreciate all of the investments they have made to Arctic Bay, no matter how big or small.”

Hamlet council unanimously passed a motion on Sept. 23 to support the second phase of Baffinland’s operations at Mary River, which would see iron ore production climb to 12 million tonnes per year from the current six million tonnes. It would also entail construction of a 110-km railroad and more shipping by sea.

The municipality endorsed new commitments outlined in the Inuit Certainty Agreement, a new Inuit-led adaptive management plan and strict environmental monitoring, which it says would allow an expanded Mary River mine, 160 south of Pond Inlet, to operate safely and responsibly “while also delivering significant opportunities to the affected communities.”

Arctic Bay is located about a half-hour’s drive from the former Nanisivik mine, which began producing lead and zinc in the mid-1970s for close to 25 years.

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