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QIA to hold further discussions with affected communities before making final decision on Mary River expansion

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association announced on Monday afternoon that it will seek additional feedback from the affected communities before reaching a final conclusion pertaining to Baffinland Iron Mines' proposed phase two expansion at the Mary River mine.

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association gathered feedback last week from the communities directly impacted by the Mary River iron mine, which Baffinland wants to expand. QIA staff will be in talks with Pond Inlet early this week on its position on mine expansion.
photo courtesy of Baffinland Iron Mines

“Our board wants to ensure that we have all the information before making our final decision regarding the expansion of the Mary River mine,” QIA President P.J. Akeeagok said following three days of "full and productive" discussions with community stakeholders last week. “Ultimately, we want to ensure that the decision we make results in the best outcomes for Qikiqtani Inuit, specifically those communities impacted by this proposal.”

The affected communities are Pond Inlet, Sanirajak, Iglulik, Clyde River and Arctic Bay.

The QIA board received formal written or oral feedback from the mayors and the chairs of hunters and trappers organizations in each impacted community, the QIA stated in a news release.

QIA staff will reach out to Pond Inlet early this week to further discuss that community’s position on the Mary River phase two proposal, according to the news release.

The association's board of directors expects to reach a decision before the commencement of the Nunavut Impact Review Board’s final public hearing, which is scheduled for Jan. 25.

The Inuit association has helped fund communities in formulating their feedback on the proposed expansion of the Mary River mine – to 12 million tonnes of iron ore production per year, up from the existing six million tonnes. That funding also goes toward reviewing the Inuit Certainty Agreement, signed between the QIA and Baffinland in 2020.