Hunters block Mary River mine airstrip, road to protest Baffinland expansion
Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. says it’s communicating with the hunters
A group of hunters have situated themselves on an airstrip at Baffinland’s Mary River project in addition to blockading a road leading to Milne Inlet.
The road is used by a large fleet of haul trucks that carry ore to the Milne Inlet port.
According to several posts on social media overnight, the hunters are protesting a proposed expansion of the company’s Mary River iron mine. Baffinland’s proposal to expand the mine by building a 110-kilometre railroad from the mine to a port at Milne Inlet has been the subject of two-week Nunavut Impact Review Board hearing, now in its 10th day.
A news release from Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. says “security personnel were alerted to the presence of a hunting party on the airstrip” at around 10 p.m. Thursday night.
“Baffinland respects the right to peacefully protest and continues to work with the hunting party to maintain the safety of everyone at Mary River,” states a news release from the company.
“Communication between the hunting party and Baffinland is ongoing.”
Pond Inlet RCMP said they are aware of the demonstrations and were monitoring the situation and keeping contact with the protestors. Police reported Friday the protests were peaceful and there was no need to dispatch additional resources.
Last March, some Rankin Inlet residents briefly blockaded the road leading from their community to Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd.’s Meliadine gold mine. Protesters there, worried about the spread of COVID-19, wanted to stop Quebec-based workers from getting to the mine site. The blockade came down after the company announced strict measures to prevent spreading the virus.