Baffinland Iron Mines would like its Mary River phase two regulatory hearings to reopen after Easter in April 2020, the company informed the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) in writing recently.
Baffinland is seeking two more weeks of hearings and hoping to have the regulatory process completed by mid-May so that NIRB can submit a recommendation to the federal minister by late June.
During Baffinland’s NIRB hearings in Iqaluit in early November, Aluki Kotierk, president of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., requested a suspension of the hearings for nine months to a year so more information could be gathered.
In its recent correspondence to NIRB, dated Nov. 29, Baffinland expressed a willingness to work with the north Baffin communities in the interim to answer their questions on numerous topics and to make additional written submissions to NIRB. The mining company also reiterated that the benefits for the communities and Inuit organizations will be substantial.
“The strong and comprehensive IIBA, together with the additional commitments that Baffinland has made to the communities as well as the estimated $2 billion Canadian dollars in royalties that will be collected by NTI and QIA in respect of the project will help ensure that Inuit meaningfully benefit from the phase two proposal,” Baffinland wrote. “This is in addition to any direct or indirect employment, or contracting opportunities, which Inuit may benefit from throughout the life of the Mary River Mine.”
The company already announced in mid-November that 586 contract employees, including 96 Inuit, were being laid off due to the existing delays in the regulatory process. The correspondence to NIRB hints at further possible repercussions.
“An extended delay or suspension of the NIRB process as suggested by some parties would result in serious and negative effects to Baffinland as well as its employees,” Baffinland wrote.