Inuit org to gather community input on proposed Mary River expansion
“QIA’s views will be based on the voices of those beneficiaries”
The Qikiqtani Inuit Association will launch a regional tour next week to gauge how people in affected communities feel about a proposed expansion to Baffinland’s Mary River iron mine.
Starting Nov. 9, the QIA will visit the five communities closest to the mine site to hear how beneficiaries feel they might be impacted by the changes: Pond Inlet, Arctic Bay, Clyde River, Igloolik and Hall Beach.
Under its Phase II proposal, Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. plans to ramp up ore transportation over the 100-kilometre tote road that runs between the mine site and its port at Milne Inlet.
If the proposed changes are approved, the company would also extend its shipping season to about 10 months of the year, which would require icebreakers throughout the winter and a second ore dock.
For its part, Baffinland has said high operating costs and low metal prices have forced it to expand to ensure that the mine becomes financially viable.
But because Phase II differs from what the company originally proposed, the QIA hopes to renegotiate its Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement with Baffinland, the Inuit association said at its October annual general meeting, should the proposed plan get the go ahead.
“QIA will participate in the Nunavut Impact Review Board process regarding the proposed Phase II of the Mary River Project,” said QIA President P.J. Akeeagok in a Nov. 3 release.
“QIA’s views will be based on the voices of those beneficiaries to be directly impacted by the proposed Phase II of the Mary River Project.”
As part of its tour, the QIA will host open house events and three radio shows in each community over the next three-month period.
Community input gathered from each of the radio call-in shows will be compiled and summarized in a report, QIA said.
The first part of the QIA’s tour begins next week:
• November 9 – Pond Inlet
• November 11 – Arctic Bay
• November 13 – Clyde River
• November 15 – Hall Beach
• November 16 – Igloolik
For more information, contact the QIA at 1-867-667-2742.