Canadian government rejects Arctic mine’s request for emergency order

Northern Affairs Minister Daniel Vandal in a file photo taken earlier this year. Vandal will not issue an emergency order allowing Baffinland to produce more ore from its Mary River Mine this year. (Natalie Pressman/CBC)

Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal ‘will continue to work with partners’

Baffinland will not be granted permission to produce more ore from its Mary River mine in Nunavut.

The federal Department of Northern Affairs confirmed in an email Thursday that Minister Daniel Vandal will not issue an emergency order to allow the additional ore production.

Ryan Cotter, Vandal’s director of communications, wrote that Vandal encouraged Baffinland to go through the Nunavut Impact Review Board instead.

Baffinland had asked in May for the order to allow it to truck and ship six million tonnes of iron ore for the rest of 2022. The company had been given temporary approval to up its production from 4.2 million tonnes to six million tonnes in 2018, but that approval expired at the end of 2021.

No comment from company 

Baffinland’s spokesperson declined to comment Thursday.

In a statement posted to Twitter on Wednesday night, Baffinland wrote “the Minister has proposed that the Minister, the [Qikiqtani Inuit Association] and Baffinland meet to finalize the plan to make the project viable for 2022 and into the foreseeable future.”

It continued to say that the company expects to hold these discussions Thursday “and to rapidly address all issues for the benefit of all stakeholders.”

Baffinland said last week it would need to lay off more than 1,300 workers if it didn’t receive the emergency approval.

-With files from Jackie McKay

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Canadian government says it can’t approve emergency request from Arctic mine, CBC News

SwedenUN experts call on Sweden to halt mining project on Indigenous Sami land, Eye on the Arctic

CBC News

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