Plans to use Milne Inlet to ship ore seasonally
Baffinland Iron Mines is now proposing a phased approach to its plans for the Mary River mine in Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut, saying the project has become difficult to finance in the current global market.
The company sent a letter to Nunavut regulators Thursday outlining its revised plans. They include putting off the construction of the port at Steensby Inlet, and the railway connecting the mine to the port.
Instead, Baffinland is proposing the company use the existing port at Milne Inlet, and a tote road to the mine site in its initial phase.
The ore will then be shipped from Milne Inlet, only during the open water season.
Plans for year-round shipping using icebreakers, have been put off along with the port at Steensby Inlet.
The company expects to move about 3.5 million tonnes of ore per year during the initial phase.
The original plan was to move about 18-million tonnes per year, through Steensby Inlet and Foxe Basin.
Baffinland blames tight global financial markets for the change of plans and it says the phased approach will generate revenue sooner, and give time to prepare for an expansion of the project.
The company said it still plans to develop the railway and port at a later date.
The Nunavut Impact Review Board issued a project certificate for the Mary River project in late December.
Baffinland is now asking the NIRB to amend the certificate, to allow the new plan.
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