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HomeUncategorizedNunavut Influence Evaluate Board rejects proposed Baffinland enlargement | CBC Information

Nunavut Influence Evaluate Board rejects proposed Baffinland enlargement | CBC Information


The Nunavut Influence Evaluate board has advisable Baffinland’s Section 2 enlargement not be allowed to proceed.

In a letter to Dan Vandal, the federal northern affairs minister, Nunavut Influence Evaluate Board chair Kaviq Kaluraq mentioned the mine has the potential for “important antagonistic ecosystemic results” on marine mammals, fish, caribou and different wildlife, which in flip may hurt Inuit tradition, land use and meals safety. 

Kaluraq’s letter additionally pointed to the potential for “transboundary results on marine mammals and fish and the marine surroundings outdoors of the Nunavut Settlement Space.”

Lastly, she famous these results “can’t be adequately prevented, mitigated or adaptively managed,” even with the proporsed revisions to the mission certificated the board has already issued to Baffinland. 

The long-awaited advice was launched on Friday, after a four-year assessment course of that pitted financial improvement in opposition to environmental protections and the sustainability of conventional looking. The total report is 441 pages.

Baffinland, the Qikiqtani Inuit Affiliation and the federal government of Nunavut all declined interviews till they will assessment the report.

In a information launch, Baffinland CEO Brian Penney mentioned the corporate was upset with the choice.

“Our Section 2 proposal relies on years of in-depth examine and detailed scientific evaluation, and has appreciable native help based mostly on years of session with Inuit and native communities,” Penney mentioned.

“We shall be asking the federal authorities to contemplate all the proof and enter and to approve the Section 2 software with honest and cheap circumstances.”

The choice in the end rests with Vandal, who has beforehand mentioned he’ll decide inside 90 days of NIRB’s advice.

In 2016, when the identical board advisable a gold mine in Nunavut’s Kitikmeot area not be allowed to go forward, then-federal minister Carolyn Bennett rejected that advice, asking NIRB to give the mission a second likelihood

That mine was given approval the next yr

The Mary River mine has been working on north Baffin Island since 2015 and is presently allowed to extract and ship as much as six million tonnes of ore per yr.

Baffinland had requested to double its transport of iron ore from its Milne Inlet port to 12 million tonnes a yr, and construct a 110-kilometre railway to the port.

WATCH | Inuit on Baffin Island may determine destiny of far north iron ore mine:

Inuit on Baffin Island may determine destiny of far north iron ore mine

Canadian mining firm Baffinland, which struck a cope with Inuit to extract iron ore again in 2014, now needs to double its output and even construct a railroad throughout conventional looking grounds. For a lot of Inuit there, that concept pits jobs in opposition to environmental issues.

Baffinland additionally made a myriad of guarantees to close by communities in reference to the enlargement continuing, together with jobs, cash, environmental monitoring applications, boats, daycares, coaching centres and extra. 

The corporate additionally dedicated to regularly rising transport over 4 years from when Section 2 is accepted, and banning using heavy gasoline oil seven years earlier than it is to be outlawed in Canada’s Arctic.

Lots of the commitments are tied to a $1 billion Inuit Certainty Settlement Baffinland signed with the Qikiqtani Inuit Affiliation in 2020, contingent on the enlargement continuing.

Nonetheless, QIA selected to not help the enlargement, citing an absence of belief amongst communities, and uncertainty about whether or not new proposed mitigation measures will really work with a bigger mining operation.

Too many uncertainties remained

In a information launch, NIRB additional defined among the concerns on why it selected to reject the proposal, in its longest and most-extensive assessment ever.

Specifically, the board mentioned “regardless of the most effective effort of all of the events, the board was not assured that the measures proposed would restrict or stop these damaging results.”

Along with monetary commitments, Baffinland had promised many mitigation measures to deal with the issues heard all through the general public hearings, the vast majority of which had been environmental-related.

“The board has concluded that the proposal as assessed can’t be carried out in a way that may defend the ecosystemic integrity of Nunavut and that may defend and promote the prevailing and future well-being of the residents and communities of Nunavut, and Canada extra usually,” NIRB’s information launch learn.

The board additionally listed six areas of uncertainty which had been raised in the course of the public hearings, together with whether or not Baffinland was precisely conveying the results of the present operation versus what communities had been really experiencing.

NIRB cited testimony from Inuit and community-based organizations which felt Baffinland and regulatory companies “had not meaningfully thought of and utilized Inuit information and expertise to deal with this uncertainty.”

The board additionally heard how there have been gaps between what Inuit had been experiencing by way of the results of the mine, and the way Baffinland was responding to these issues, if in any respect.

Specifically the board pointed to the problem of mud unfold across the mine and the Milne Inlet port, and the modifications in narwhal and seal populations alongside transport routes because the mine opened.

“Inuit information shared with the board from information holders in Pond Inlet, indicated that these results are altering their means/willingness to camp, fish, hunt and berry choose within the areas impacted by crimson mud and are additionally altering the timing, location and ranges of effort required to reap narwhals and seals,” the information launch learn.

“Communities indicated that such modifications are threatening meals safety and creating cultural losses for which communities can’t be compensated. Citing the issues of communities with regard to those potential damaging results, Inuit organizations and the vast majority of the community-based Intervenors didn’t help the proposal.”

The problem of the degrees of iron mud round Baffinland and the Milne Inlet port has been a reoccurring concern raised by Inuit. Throughout a February 2021 journey CBC Information took to Milne Inlet, the mud was so prevalent it shaped crimson icicles on the base of the snowmobiles. Baffinland has tried to curb the degrees mud on the port, and has promised further mud mitigation measures throughout the Inuit Certainty Settlement. (Nick Murray/CBC Information)

Financial impacts

In its information launch, the board additionally acknowledged the lack of financial advantages Section 2 would have promised, together with $2.4 billion in royalties, in addition to the potential for the mine’s future to be in jeopardy with out the enlargement.

“Many residents within the affected communities additionally expressed the view that the potential optimistic socio-economic advantages of the proposal give attention to monetary advantages, whereas the damaging socio-economic results give attention to results on land use, harvesting, tradition and meals safety that can not be compensated with cash,” NIRB mentioned.

“As a result of a number of components, together with schooling, coaching, labour market and demographics, a few of that are past the management of the proponent, there stays uncertainty concerning whether or not the complete scale of the proposed advantages may be delivered, and questions stay as to the extent of Inuit contracting and Inuit employment that could be delivered by the Section 2.”



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