Sustaining Operations Proposal

In December, 2022, Baffinland provided a draft submission to the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) for its operating plans for 2023 and beyond. Following review and incorporation of feedback from the QIA and other parties, Baffinland filed the final submission with the appropriate regulators. Baffinland’s Sustaining Operations Proposal (SOP) focused on ensuring there is uninterrupted work at Mary River Mine for the foreseeable future.

The submission contained no proposed changes to current operations with respect to ore extraction and processing at the Mine Site, beyond the activity levels in place since 2018. The proposed continuance of the approved 2018-22 production levels allows us to sustain operations, maintain important commercial relationships, and continue to provide employment and deliver benefits to communities on North Baffin Island while continuing to evaluate the feasibility of proceeding with the previously approved Southern rail option and/or other alternatives

Baffinland’s application was not a change to the project with respect to ore extraction and processing at the Mine Site. It was a request to continue the status quo production and transportation levels that have been in place since 2018, based primarily on existing information that has been previously presented to and considered by NIRB through previous applications and the NIRB monitoring process. It did include numerous project modifications that have been made as a direct result of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) and engagement with Inuit. As a result, our Project is continually guided by Inuit in  the collection and use of IQ, which has a central role in decision-making.

Following draft submission, Baffinland leaders began an in-person engagement tour of all five communities. Unfortunately, inclement weather cut the tour short, however engagement continued in-person and virtually through early 2023.

“We wanted to begin community engagement early in our project planning so that we can incorporate initial feedback from Hamlets, HTOs and other stakeholders into our decision-making and any subsequent regulatory applications.” said CEO Brian Penney regarding the community tour. “We value the input and support from the Hamlets and HTOs over the recent years and want to ensure we continue to build positive relationships.”

Baffinland’s hope was that this approach eliminates the need to consider new information and reduces the regulatory burden for participants, while meeting the need to provide certainty for operations.

In October 2023, the federal government approved the SOP.