Baffinland Iron Mines has sent out termination notices for more than 1,100 staff, among these include over 200 Inuit employees on July 31. Two rounds of terminations are scheduled for September 25 and October 11.
“The company has had to take this step out of an abundance of caution as Baffinland currently is permitted to extract and ship 4.2 million tonnes of iron ore in 2022, down from 6.0 million tonnes per year since 2018,” said Peter Akman, Head of Stakeholder Relations and Communications at Baffinland.
The permit Akman refers to was a temporary production increase from the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) which started in 2018 and had expired at the end of 2021. The company expects to reach the 4.2 million ton extraction limit by mid-September and the shipping limit by early October.
Currently, Baffinland is in the midst of applying for a new temporary production increase for 6.0 million tonnes for 2022. If not successful, Baffinland is prepared to take precautionary steps to re-scale its operation.
“It is our hope that the expedited NIRB process, which the Minister of Northern Affairs encouraged and asked that it be wrapped up by August 26th, will result in a positive response to our renewal application that can prevent employee terminations,” added Akman.
If Baffinland gets the production increase they want, they will rescind these termination notices.