Baffinland wants the federal government to issue an emergency order to ship more iron ore out of Mary River Mine than has been permitted, the company announced on May 26. Otherwise they’re suspending operations for the rest of 2022.

The company says once production reaches 4.2 million tonnes, they will suspend operations for the rest of the year, laying off its regular and contract employees.

From 2018 until the end of 2021, Baffinland was permitted to ship 6 million tonnes of iron ore out of Mary River Mine.

They say they’re preparing to file a notice with the Nunavut Labour Standards Compliance Office for its termination of staff at Mary River and Nunavut offices.

The company says in a release, quoting no one in particular that it’s “committed to working with the federal government and all stakeholder groups to do everything possible to avoid the necessity of layoffs and to protect our employees and their communities.”

The request is an interim measure they say, to allow its workers and employees to work through to the end of 2022.

“We request that the minister (of Northern Affairs) use this legal authority granted under the (Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act), which would enable Baffinland to maintain the status quo and avoid the significant negative impacts on the health of the workers at Mary River that will be directly and indirectly impacted by the layoffs and of Nunavut communities more broadly.”

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