Baffinland stresses “family atmosphere” at new Mary River work camp

Mining company brings high-profile guests to ribbon cutting for new workers’ facility

Baffinland representatives and special guests pose for a photo in front of the new mural at the Sailiivik Camp created by Embassy of Imagination and the Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association. (Baffinland photo)

By Jim Bell

With a public hearing looming this fall on its railway-based expansion plan, Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. brought a long list of political leaders and other guests to a ribbon-cutting ceremony this week for a new 800-person work camp at the Mary River mine site.

The camp, called “Sailiivik,” is built from materials shipped to the site on the 2017 sealift.

“In 2016, much prior to the commencement of the phase-two application, the Baffinland leadership team identified the need to improve camp conditions based on feedback from employees and communities,” Baffinland’s communications specialist, Jason Leite, told Nunatsiaq News.

“The new camp ensures all workers at the mine site will have their own room in a hard-wall camp with their own bathroom, shower, telephone and TV,” he said.

It’s called “Sailiivik” because the company wants it to be seen as a comfortable place to rest and relax.

“Traditionally, after hunting trips, hunters would return to ‘Sailiivik,’ their home for comfort, shelter, and refuge,” a Baffinland news release said.

Brian Penney, the company’s president and CEO, said it’s part of an “important investment” in Baffinland’s employees.

“It embodies Baffinland’s commitment to continue to build an inclusive, respectful and family atmosphere at site,” Penney said in the news release.

Tununiq MLA Joe Enook, Baffinland CEO Brian Penney, and Quttiktuq MLA and Nunavut Deputy Premier David Akeeagok cut a ceremonial sealskin ribbon to open Baffinland’s 800-person Sailiivik work camp at Mary River. (Baffinland photo)

The Sailiivik camp is located at the mine site and not at Milne Inlet, where the company recently received permission to build a different 380-person camp and a 15-million-litre tank farm.

To open Sailiivik, Baffinland invited representatives from the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, community leaders from around the north Baffin region, and political officials like Nunavut Deputy Premier David Akeeagok, Tununiq MLA Joe Enook and Nunavut Senator Dennis Patterson.

They also unveiled a mural in the Sailiivik camp recreation room that was produced with the help of the Embassy of Imagination, an Inuit youth art collective led by Alexa Hatanaka and Patrick Thompson, and the Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association.

“The mural team included two youths from Igloolik and one from Kinngait,” Baffinland said.

A public hearing on Baffinland’s railway-based expansion plan will be held by the Nunavut Impact Review Board from Sept. 16 to Sept. 21.

Share This Story

(3) Comments:

  1. Posted by Bob the Builder on

    Question 1 – Can I bring my partner and kids with me to Sailiivik? Only then it will really have the family atmosphere you speak of.

    Question 2 – How much did it cost to build Sailiivik, complete with its 800 bedrooms and 800 bathrooms? If it cost less than $200 million then perhaps the GN could learn something about construction.

    • Posted by Bemused on

      1. No. Mines do not do anything like that any more, anywhere in Canada.
      2. The building is second hand, bought from another mine down south that didn’t need it any more. And it’s not meant for long-term living, if you saw the rooms.

  2. Posted by Fern on

    Looks nice! Will the new camp be open to contractors too? Or just BIM employees?

Comments are closed.