Technical meetings for Baffinland Iron Mines’ Mary River phase two expansion are scheduled to take place via teleconference April 28-May 8.
The meetings — made necessary after the suspension of Baffinland’s public hearing in early November at the request of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. — were scheduled to be held in-person in Iqaluit in March but they were postponed due to Covid-19. Subsequently, Baffinland was aiming to have the technical meetings and a pre-hearing conference wrapped up by the end of April, but the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) called that timeline “unrealistic.”
Among the many issues on the agenda for the April 28-May 8 meetings are operational flexibility; incorporation of Inuit Qaujimaningit; marine shipping; air, water, soil and wildlife impacts; human health impacts; and cumulative effects.
The scheduling of the pre-conference hearing is still to be determined because NIRB “has not decided upon a feasible option at this time” due to Covid-19. Further word is expected following the conclusion of the upcoming technical meetings.
Baffinland is seeking to double production to 12 million tonnes at the Mary River iron mine, 160 km south of Pond Inlet, which would also increase shipping. The company is aiming to build a 110-km railway between the mine and Milne Inlet, as well.