Federal Minister Denies Baffinland Application on Phase 2
17 November 2022
November 17, 2022 (Iqaluit, NU) – Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation (“Baffinland”) announced that the Minister of Northern Affairs, Hon. Dan Vandal, has determined that its Phase 2 expansion should not proceed at this time.
“We are disappointed by the Minister’s decision,” said Brian Penney, CEO of Baffinland, “Our Phase 2 proposal was based on years of in-depth study and detailed scientific analysis, we executed a new Inuit Certainty Agreement with the QIA (setting new standards in the Canadian Mining industry for environmental compliance, benefits, training, royalties and taxes), and we have had extensive consultations with, and made additional (environmental and benefits) commitments to stakeholders post-release of the NIRB recommendation in May (including mediation with the QIA and the Ministry of Northern Affairs). Given the four years of work and the material progress made since May, we are disappointed the Minister did not encourage all parties to promptly settle any outstanding issues and agree on a practical path forward for the project. Based on extensive direct consultations, we are confident the proposed expansion has widespread support from local communities, HTOs and the International Union of Operating Engineers, which has been expressed directly to the Minister.“
“Baffinland’s Phase 2 expansion plan would have created long-term stability for our business, for the local communities on Baffin Island and for the territory of Nunavut, while lowering the marine and terrestrial effects of our current operations (not increasing them) and increasing the number of jobs from the current level”, said Penney. “Given the clear benefits to Inuit, Nunavut and Canada as a whole, and the fact that Baffinland high-grade ore is also the greenest path to steel production, the Minister’s decision is both surprising and disappointing”.
"The Minister’s decision has immediate and significant implications for the current Mary River operations and our workforce of 2500 people. We look forward to immediately meeting with the QIA and the Minister to discuss a practical path forward. We will provide further details after these discussions conclude.”