Inuit Concerns and Protection of Environment Central to Baffinland Expansion Plans

March 3, 2021

By Brian Penney, CEO of Baffinland

Recent events and the public hearings on Baffinland’s proposed expansion of the Mary River Project provide an important opportunity to scrutinize the expansion. We understand some people may support it while others don’t, and others are unsure or have questions. 

It’s important that everyone has access to accurate information. Over the past six years, we have been in constant dialogue with hamlets, Hunter and Trapper Organizations, the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) and regulators at all levels through consultation, technical meetings, community roundtables, and other formal and informal meetings, many of which are open to the public. Extensive written documents have also been filed during this assessment process. Our plans have been closely reviewed by all parties and we have made changes based on this input, which includes direct Inuit feedback.

Baffinland is one of the most environmentally sustainable iron ore operations in the world - it produces very little waste rock, and no chemicals or water are used for processing. We will improve upon this strong performance with Phase 2, where we aim to set new benchmarks in the mining industry.

We understand that harvesting caribou, narwhal, seal and char are important food sources and at the centre of Inuit culture and identity. Preserving and respecting this aspect of Inuit wellbeing is critical to our planning. Narwhal monitoring shows consistent numbers in Eclipse Sound between 2013-19, with mine operations starting in 2015. The total allowable harvest was increased in 2016, and since that time, the annual average harvest number in Pond Inlet has increased substantially.

We recognize the importance of the North Baffin Island caribou herd and will work with Inuit to protect this valuable resource. We are taking a number of steps as part of the expansion plans, many of which are the direct result of Inuit engagement, such as providing caribou underpasses and designing rail embankments to support caribou crossing.

The Inuit Certainty Agreement (ICA), signed in 2020, expands the role of Inuit in monitoring and reviewing operations.  Inuit will oversee many forms of monitoring through the Inuit Stewardship Plan, which will include monitoring for changes in Culture, Resources, Land Use and social well-being. This monitoring will tie directly into an Adaptive Management Plan, which will enable Inuit to identify additional preventative measures to protect the environment should impacts be greater than predicted.

Baffinland is the largest private sector employer in the Qikiqtani and has directly and indirectly contributed $1.68 billion to Inuit businesses and communities since 2015. With Phase 2, Baffinland is expected to contribute even more over the mine life:  $4.5 billion to government and Inuit organizations, including roughly $1 billion to the QIA, $1.4 billion to Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, $679 million to the Government of Nunavut, and $1.5 billion to the Government of Canada.

Baffinland will also spend up to $15 million to build or enhance childcare facilities in Pond Inlet, Arctic Bay, Clyde River, Igloolik and Sanirajak. We will also support a child care subsidy for Baffinland Inuit employees who reside in Nunavut, a study of Pond Inlet’s country food, the Hunters and Trappers Organizations, and make milestone payments to QIA totaling $45 million over the first five years of Phase 2. Royalties paid to the QIA will increase from 1.19% to 3.00%, a portion of which will be provided by QIA to North Baffin communities through Community Direct Benefits.

Baffinland aims to set new standards in the Canadian mining industry for community oversight and benefit sharing. Our plan reflects years of engagement between Baffinland, Inuit, and all levels of government. Baffinland will work with all parties to deliver positive contributions for years to come, while protecting and respecting the environment.


ᒫᔾᔨ 3, 2021

ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐃᓱᒫᓘᑎᖏᑦ  ᐊᕙᑏᓪᓗ   ᓴᐳᔾᔭᐅᓂᖏᑦ  ᑐᙵᕕᐅᕗᑦ  ᐹᕙᓐᓛᓐᑯᑦ  ᐊᖏᒡᓕᒋᐊᕈᒪᓂᖏᓐᓄᑦ  

ᑎᑎᕋᖅᑐᖅ ᐳᕋᐃᐊᓐ  ᐱᐊᓂ,  ᐊᖓᔪᖅᑳᖅ  ᐹᕙᓐᓛᓐᑯᓐᓄᑦ  

ᖃᖓᑦᑎᐊᖅ  ᖃᓄᐃᓚᐅᖅᑐᑦ  ᐅᖃᐅᓯᐅᔪᓪᓗ ᐃᓄᓕᒫᖅᑎᑦᑎᑎᓪᓗᒋᑦ  ᓈᓚᖕᓂᕐᓂᑦ   ᐹᕙᓐᓛᓐᑯᑦ  ᐊᖏᒡᓕᒋᐊᕈᒪᔭᖓᓄᑦ  ᓄᓘᔮᖕᓂᑦ  ᐱᓕᕆᓂᕐᒥᑦ  ᐱᕕᖃᖅᑎᑦᑎᓯᒪᕗᑦ  ᐱᒻᒪᕆᐅᔪᒥᒃ ᕿᒥᕐᕈᓂᕐᒧᑦ  ᐊᖏᒡᓕᒋᐊᕐᓂᕐᒧᑦ.  ᑐᑭᓯᕗᒍᑦ  ᐃᓚᖏᑦ  ᐃᓄᐃᑦ  ᐃᑲᔪᖅᑐᖅᐳᑦ  ᐊᓯᖏᑦ  ᐃᑲᔪᖅᑐᙱᑎᓪᓗᒋᑦ,  ᐊᓯᖏᓪᓗ  ᖃᐅᔨᒪᖏᑉᐳᑦ  ᓱᓕ  ᐊᐱᖅᑯᑎᒃᓴᖃᖅᖢᑎᒡᓘᓐᓃᑦ.

ᐱᕐᔪᐊᖑᕗᖅ  ᑭᒃᑯᓕᒫᑦ  ᑕᑯᔪᓐᓇᕐᓗᑎᒃ  ᓱᓕᔪᓂᒃ  ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᐅᔪᓂᒃ.  ᐊᓂᒍᖅᑐᓂ 6  ᐊᕐᕌᒍᓂᑦ,  ᐅᖃᖃᑎᖃᐃᓐᓇᖅᐳᒍᑦ  ᕼᐋᒪᓚᓄᑦ,  ᐊᖑᓇᓱᒃᑐᓕᕆᔨᓄᑦ,  ᕿᑭᖅᑕᓂ  ᐃᓄᐃᑦ  ᑲᑐᔾᔨᖃᑎᒌᖏᓐᓄᑦ (QIA)  ᐊᐅᓚᑦᑎᔨᓂᓪᓗ  ᖁᑦᑎᓕᕇᓂᒃ  ᑐᓴᕋᓱᖕᓂᒃᑯᑦ,  ᐋᖅᑭᑦᑎᐊᓯᒪᔪᓕᕆᓂᒃᑯᑦ  ᑲᑎᒪᓂᖅᑎᒍᑦ,  ᐃᓄᓕᒫᖅᑎᑦᑎᓂᒃᑯᓪᓗ  ᓄᓇᓕᖕᓂᑦ,  ᐊᓯᖏᓪᓗ  ᑲᑎᒪᓪᓚᑦᑖᖅᑐᓂ  ᐅᖃᖃᑎᒌᒃᑐᓂᓗ,  ᐅᓄᖅᑐᑦ  ᐃᓄᓕᒫᓄᑦ  ᒪᑐᐃᖓᓪᓗᑎᒃ.  ᐅᓄᖅᑐᑦ  ᑎᑎᕋᖅᓯᒪᔪᑦ  ᐸᐃᑉᐹᑦ  ᑐᓂᔭᐅᓯᒪᖃᑦᑕᖅᑐᑦ  ᐱᓕᕆᑎᓪᓗᒋᑦ ᑕᒪᒃᑯᓂᖓ ᕿᒥᕐᕈᓂᐅᔪᓂᑦ.  ᐸᕐᓇᒃᓯᒪᔭᕗᑦ  ᕿᒥᕐᕈᔭᐅᑦᑎᐊᖅᓯᒪᕗᑦ  ᐃᓚᐅᖃᑕᐅᔪᓕᒫᓄᑦ  ᐊᓯᔾᔩᓯᒪᕗᒍᓪᓗ  ᒪᓕᒃᖢᒋᑦ  ᑖᒃᑯᓇᙵᑦ  ᑐᓴᖅᑕᑦᑎᓐᓂᑦ,  ᐱᖃᓯᐅᖦᖢᒋᑦ  ᑕᕝᕙᖓᑲᐅᑎᒋ  ᐃᓄᖕᓂᑦ  ᑐᓴᖅᑕᕗᑦ.

ᐹᕙᓐᓛᓐᑯᑦ  ᐊᕙᑎᑎᒍᑦ  ᑲᔪᓰᓐᓇᕈᓐᓇᓛᖑᕗᑦ  ᓴᕕᕋᔭᒃᓴᓄᑦ  ᐊᐅᓚᓂᕐᓂᑦ  ᓄᓇᕐᔪᐊᒥ – ᐃᒋᑕᒃᓴᓂᒃ  ᐅᔭᖅᑲᓂᒃ ᐱᑕᖃᖅᑎᑦᓗᐊᕋᓂ,  ᐃᓚᐅᕈᑎᖃᕐᓇᓂ  ᐃᒥᕐᓂᒡᓘᓐᓃᑦ  ᐊᑐᖏᑦᑐᑦ  ᐅᔭᕋᖕᓂᐊᖅᑕᐅᔪᓄᑦ.  ᐱᐅᓯᒋᐊᕐᓂᐊᖅᑕᕗᑦ  ᑖᓐᓇ  ᐱᓕᕆᑦᑎᐊᕐᓂᖅ  ᐊᖏᒡᓕᒋᐊᕈᒪᓂᖅ 2-ᒥᑦ  ᑕᐃᑲᓂ  ᐱᓕᕆᐊᖑᓚᐅᖅᓯᒪᖏᑦᑐᓂᒃ  ᒪᓕᓛᕈᒪᒐᑦᑕ  ᐅᔭᕋᖕᓂᐊᕐᕕᖕᓂᑦ ᓴᓇᕝᕕᐅᔪᓂᑦ. 

ᑐᑭᓯᕗᒍᑦ  ᐊᖑᓇᓱᖕᓃᑦ  ᑐᒃᑐᓂᒃ,  ᕿᓚᓗᒐᓂᒃ,  ᓇᑦᑎᕐᓂᒃ  ᐃᖃᓗᖕᓂᒡᓗ  ᓂᕿᓪᓚᕆᐊᓘᖕᒪᑕ  ᕿᑎᐊᓃᖦᖢᑎᒡᓗ  ᐃᓄᐃᑦ  ᐃᓕᖅᑯᓯᖏᓐᓄᑦ  ᑭᓇᐅᓂᖏᓐᓄᓪᓗ.  ᑲᔪᓰᓐᓇᖅᑎᓪᓗᒍ  ᐃᒃᐱᒋᓗᒍᓗ  ᑖᓐᓇ  ᐃᓄᐃᑦ  ᖃᓄᐃᖏᓐᓂᖏᓐᓄᑦ  ᐊᑑᑎᖃᑦᑎᐊᖅᐳᖅ  ᐸᕐᓇᖕᓂᑦᑎᓐᓄᑦ.  ᕿᓚᓗᒐᕐᓄᑦ  ᖃᐅᔨᓴᕐᓃᑦ  ᓴᖅᑭᑦᑎᕗᑦ  ᑕᐃᒪᐃᖏᓐᓇᖅᑐᓂᒃ  ᕿᓚᓗᒐᖃᕐᓂᕐᓂᒃ  ᑕᓯᐅᔭᕐᒥᑦ  ᐊᑯᓐᓂᐊᓂ  2013  2019−ᓗ,  ᐅᔭᕋᖕᓂᐊᕐᓂᕐᓄᑦ  ᐊᐅᓚᔾᔭᒃᖢᑎᒃ  2015ᒥᑦ.  2016ᒥᑦ,  ᑲᑎᖦᖢᒋᑦ  ᕿᓚᓗᒐᖅᑕᐅᔪᓐᓇᖅᑐᑦ  ᐅᓄᖅᓯᒋᐊᖅᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᑐᑦ  ᑕᐃᒪᙵᓂᓪᓗ  ᐊᕐᕌᒍᑕᒫᑦ  ᕿᓚᓗᒐᖅᑕᐅᒐᔪᒃᑐᑦ  ᒥᑦᑎᒪᑕᓕᖕᒥᑦ  ᐅᓄᓯᒋᐊᓪᓚᒃᓯᒪᕗᑦ.    

ᑐᑭᓯᕗᒍᑦ  ᐱᕐᔪᐊᖑᓂᖏᓐᓂᒃ  ᕿᑭᖅᑖᓘᑉ  ᐅᐊᖕᓇᖓᓂᑦ  ᑐᒃᑐᐃᑦ  ᐱᓕᕆᖃᑎᒋᔪᒪᓪᓗᒋᓪᓗ  ᐃᓄᐃᑦ  ᓴᐳᔾᔭᐅᓯᒪᖁᓪᓗᒋᑦ  ᑖᒃᑯᐊ   ᐱᒻᒪᕆᐅᔪᑦ ᓄᓇᒥᖔᖅᑐᑦ ᑭᓱᒃᓴᑦ.  ᖃᔅᓯᒐᓚᖕᓂᒃ  ᐱᓕᕆᒃᑲᓐᓂᕋᓱᒃᐳᒍᑦ  ᐃᓚᒋᓪᓗᓂᒋᑦ  ᐊᖏᒡᓕᒋᐊᕐᓂᕐᓄᑦ  ᐸᕐᓇᐅᑎᓄᑦ,  ᐅᓄᖅᑐᑦ  ᑕᕝᕙᙶᑲᐅᑎᒋᓪᓗᑎᒃ  ᐅᖃᖃᑎᒌᖕᓂᕐᓂᑦ  ᐃᓄᖕᓂᑦ,  ᓲᕐᓗ  ᑐᒃᑐᓄᑦ ᐃᑳᕐᕕᐅᔪᓐᓇᖅᑐᓂᒃ ᓱᓪᓗᓕᓕᐅᖅᖢᑕ   ᓴᓇᓯᒪᑎᖦᖢᒋᓪᓗ  ᐊᖅᑯᑎᑯᑖᖕᒥᑦ  ᓯᕕᖓᓃᑦ   ᐃᑲᔪᖁᓪᓗᒋᑦ  ᑐᒃᑐᑦ  ᐃᑳᕐᓂᖏᑦ.   

ᐃᓅᔪᑦ ᓇᓗᓇᙱᓐᓂᕐᒧᑦ ᐊᖏᖃᑎᒌᒍᑎ (ICA) ᐊᑎᓕᐅᖅᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᑐᖅ  2020ᒥᑦ,  ᐃᓄᐃᑦ  ᐃᓚᐅᔪᓐᓇᕐᓂᖅᓴᐅᖁᓪᓗᒋᑦ  ᖃᐅᔨᓴᐃᓐᓇᕐᓂᕐᓂᑦ  ᕿᒥᕐᕈᓂᕐᓂᓗ  ᐊᐅᓚᓂᑦᑎᓐᓂᒃ.  ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᑲᒪᖃᑦᑕᕐᓂᐊᖅᐳᑦ  ᐊᐅᓚᓪᓗᒋᑦ  ᐊᔾᔨᒌᙱᕈᓘᔭᖅᑐᓄᑦ  ᖃᐅᔨᓴᐃᓐᓇᕐᓂᕐᓄᑦ  ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐸᖅᑭᔨᐅᓂᖏᓐᓄᑦ  ᐸᕐᓇᐅᑎᐊᒍᑦ,  ᐱᖃᓯᐅᔾᔨᓗᓂ  ᖃᐅᔨᓴᐃᓐᓇᕐᓂᕐᓂᒃ ᐊᓯᔾᔨᖅᑐᓄᑦ   ᐃᓕᖅᑯᓯᒃᑯᑦ,  ᓄᓇᒥᖔᖅᑐᓄᑦ,  ᓄᓇᐃᓪᓗ  ᐊᑐᖅᑕᐅᓂᖏᓐᓄᑦ   ᐃᓅᓯᒃᑯᑦ  ᖃᓄᐃᖏᓐᓂᕐᓄᓪᓗ.   ᑖᒃᑯᐊ  ᖃᐅᔨᓴᐃᓐᓇᕐᓃᑦ  ᐊᒃᑐᐊᑲᐅᑎᒋᓂᐊᖅᑐᑦ  ᐋᖅᑭᒋᐊᕈᓐᓇᖅᑐᒃᑯᑦ  ᐊᐅᓚᑦᑎᓂᕐᓄᑦ  ᐸᕐᓇᐅᑎᒧᑦ,  ᐃᓄᐃᑦ  ᓇᓗᓇᐃᖅᓯᔪᓐᓇᖅᓯᑎᓪᓗᑎᒃ  ᖃᓄᐃᔾᔭᐃᒃᑯᑎᒃᑲᓐᓂᕐᓂᒃ  ᓴᐳᔾᔭᐅᓯᒪᖁᓪᓗᒍᑦ  ᐊᕙᑏᑦ  ᐊᒃᑐᐃᓂᕐᓂᒃ  ᐊᖏᓂᖅᓴᐅᓐᓂᕈᑎᒃ ᒥᒃᓴᐅᓴᒃᑕᐅᓯᒪᔪᓂᑦ.  

ᐹᕙᓐᓛᓐᑯᑦ  ᐊᖏᓂᖅᐹᖑᕗᑦ  ᓇᖕᒥᓂᕆᔭᐅᓪᓗᑎᒃ  ᐃᖅᑲᓂᐊᔭᖅᑎᑦᑎᔨᐅᕗᖅ  ᕿᑭᖅᑕᓂᒥᑦ  ᑕᕝᕗᖓᑲᐅᑎᒋᓗ  ᑕᕝᕗᖓᑲᐅᑎᒋᐅᖏᑦᑐᒃᑯᓪᓗ  ᑐᓂᓯᓯᒪᓪᓗᑎᒃ 1.68  ᐱᓕᐊᓐᓂᒃ  ᐃᓄᐃᑦ  ᐱᓯᓇᓯᖏᓐᓄᑦ  ᓄᓇᓕᖏᓐᓄᓪᓗ  2015 ᒥᓂᑦ.  ᐊᖏᒡᓕᒋᐊᕈᒪᓂᖅ 2-ᑯᑦ,  ᐹᕙᓐᓛᓐᑯᑦ  ᓂᕆᐅᒋᔭᐅᔪᑦ   ᑐᓂᓯᒃᑲᓐᓂᐅᔭᖃᑦᑕᓕᕐᓗᑎᒃ  ᐊᐅᓚᓂᓕᒫᖓᓂᑦ  ᐅᔭᕋᖕᓂᐊᕐᕕᒃ;  $4.5  ᐱᓕᐊᓂᒃ  ᒐᕙᒪᓄᑦ  ᐃᓄᐃᓪᓗ  ᑎᒥᖏᓐᓄᑦ,  ᐱᖃᓯᐅᓪᓗᒋᑦ  $1  ᐱᓕᐊᓐᑲᓴᑦ  ᕿᑭᑕᓂᒃᑯᓐᓄᑦ, $1.4  ᐱᓕᐊᓐ  ᓄᓇᕗᑦ  ᑐᙵᕕᒃ  ᐃᓐᑯᐊᐳᕇᑕᑦᑯᓐᓄᑦ, $679  ᒥᓕᐊᓐ  ᓄᓇᕘᒃᑯᑦ  ᒐᕙᒪᖓᓄᑦ, $1.5  ᐱᓕᐊᓐᓗ  ᑲᓇᑕᐅᑉ  ᒐᕙᒪᖓᓄᑦ.  

ᐹᕙᓐᓛᓐᑯᑦ  ᐊᖏᖅᓯᒪᕗᑦ  ᐊᑐᕈᒪᓪᓗᑎᒃ  ᑎᑭᓪᓗᒍ $15  ᒥᓕᐊᓐᓄᑦ  ᓴᓇᖁᓪᓗᒋᑦ  ᐱᐅᓯᒋᐊᕐᓗᒋᓪᓘᓐᓂᑦ  ᐸᐃᕆᕝᕖᑦ  ᒥᑦᑎᒪᑕᓕᖕᒥᑦ,  ᐃᒃᐱᐊᕐᔪᖕᒥᑦ,  ᑲᖏᖅᑐᒑᐱᖕᒥᑦ,  ᐃᒡᓗᓕᖕᒥᑦ  ᓴᓂᕋᔭᖕᒥᓗ.  ᐃᑲᔪᕐᓂᐊᕆᕗᒍᑦ ᐸᐃᕆᓂᕐᓄᑦ  ᑮᓇᐅᔭᑎᒍᑦ  ᐹᕙᓐᓛᓐᑯᑦ  ᐃᓄᖕᓂᒃ  ᐃᖅᑲᓇᐃᔭᖅᑎᖏᓐᓄᒃ  ᓄᓇᕘᒥᐅᑕᓄᑦ,  ᖃᐅᔨᓴᖅᑕᐅᓂᖏᓐᓄᑦ  ᒥᑦᑎᒪᑕᓕᖕᒥᑦ  ᓂᕿᖏᓐᓄᑦ,  ᐊᖑᓇᓱᒃᑐᓕᕆᔨᒃᑯᑦ  ᒥᑭᒋᐊᕐᓂᐊᖅᑏᓪᓗ  ᑲᑎᒪᔨᖏᓐᓂᒃ,  ᑕᐃᒪᐃᓚᐅᖅᓯᒪᖏᑦᑐᓄᓪᓗ  ᐊᑭᓕᐅᑎᓄᑦ  ᕿᑭᖅᑕᓂᒃᑯᓐᓄᑦ  ᑲᑎᓪᓗᒋᑦ $45  ᒥᓕᐊᓐ  ᓯᕗᓪᓕᖅᐹᓄᑦ  ᑕᓪᓕᒪᓄᑦ  ᐊᕌᒍᓄᑦ  ᐊᖏᒡᓕᒋᐊᕈᒪᓂᖅ 2-ᒥᑦ.  ᑮᓇᐅᔭᑦ ᓂᖏᖅᑕᕐᓂᐊᖅᑐᑦ  ᕿᑭᖅᑕᓂᒃᑯᓐᓄᑦ  ᐅᓄᖅᓯᒋᐊᕐᓂᐊᕆᕗᑦ  1.19%ᒥᑦ  3.00%ᒧᑦ,   ᐃᓚᖓ  ᑐᓂᔭᐅᓗᓂ  ᕿᑭᖅᑕᓂᒃᑯᓐᓂᑦ  ᕿᑭᖅᑖᓘᑉ  ᐅᐊᖕᓇᖓᓂᑦ  ᓄᓇᓕᖕᓄᑦ  ᓄᓇᓕᖕᓄᐊᑲᐅᑎᒋᔪᓄᑦ  ᐱᕚᓪᓕᕈᑎᑎᒍᑦ.  

ᐹᕙᓐᓛᓐᑯᑦ  ᓄᑖᓂᒃ  ᐊᑐᒐᓕᐅᕈᒪᕗᑦ  ᑲᓇᑕᒥᑦ  ᐅᔭᕋᖕᓂᐊᕐᓂᕐᒧᑦ ᓴᓇᕝᕕᐅᔪᓂᑦ  ᓄᓇᓖᑦ  ᐊᐅᓚᑦᑎᔨᐅᓗᑎᒃ  ᐱᕚᓪᓕᕈᑎᑖᖅᑎᑦᑎᓂᒃᑯᓪᓗ.  ᐸᕐᓇᐅᑎᕗᑦ  ᓴᖅᑭᔮᖅᑎᑦᑎᕗᖅ   ᐊᕐᕌᒍᒐᓚᖕᓄᑦ  ᐅᖃᖃᑎᒌᖕᓂᕐᓂᒃ  ᐹᕙᓐᓛᓐᑯᑦ,  ᐃᓄᖕᓄᑦ  ᒐᕙᒪᐃᓪᓗ  ᖁᕝᕙᓯᓕᕇᒃᑐᓂᑦ  ᑐᓂᓯᖁᓪᓗᒋᑦ  ᐱᐅᔪᓂᒃ  ᐱᕙᓪᓕᕈᑎᓂᒃ  ᐊᕐᕌᒍᒐᓴᖕᓄᑦ,  ᓴᐳᑎᐅᔮᕐᔪᒡᓗᒋᑦ  ᐃᒃᐱᒋᓗᒍᓪᓗ  ᐊᕙᑏᑦ.