Environment minister rejects calls to investigate dust from Mary River mine
Mine critics say they might take further legal action
Nunavut’s environment minister won’t investigate the spread of iron ore dust from the Mary River mine, say a group of North Baffin residents who oppose Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.’s proposed expansion.
According to a Thursday news release from the Nuluujaat Land Guardians, the 11 residents who had called for the investigation received a response from Joe Savikataaq, who is Nunavut’s environment minister as well as premier, saying the Government of Nunavut will not proceed with an investigation because the mine operation is allowed by federal permit.
“The applicants expressed regret that the GN was not prepared to review impacts of iron ore dust outside the lands licensed under [Baffinland],” states a news release from the group.
The Nuluujaat Land Guardians recently blockaded the Mary River mine.
On March 19, some of the protesters and their supporters from Pond Inlet and Arctic Bay applied for the government to investigate Baffinland, alleging that iron dust from the mine operation is harming plants and wildlife.
The group also maintains that releasing iron ore dust is not allowed under Baffinland’s project certificate. They say they may take further legal action.
Savikataaq did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Heather Smiles, manager of stakeholder relations for Baffinland Iron Mines Corp., said the company “is not in any position to comment on any decision by the Government of Nunavut on this matter.”