The first load of iron ore from Nunavut's Mary River mine site is now on its way to Germany. 

According to Baffinland Iron Mines, which owns the mine, more than 50,000 tonnes of ore left the Milne Inlet port on Saturday. Once it gets to Europe, it will be made into steel.

The Mary River project, located about 160 kilometres southwest of Pond Inlet, Nunavut, has made headlines in recent months for a plan to ship iron ore 10 months of the year through Baffin Bay. 

In April, the Nunavut Planning Commission determined the plan was too disruptive for wildlife and did not conform to the North Baffin Land Use Plan currently in place. ​

However, in July, Bernard Valcourt, the federal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, granted Baffinland a land use plan exemption, allowing the mining company to bypass the planning commission and take its proposal straight to the Nunavut Impact Review Board, where it will undergo an environmental assessment. 

In a written statement, Baffinland's president, Tom Paddon, said that he is proud of the project's accomplishment, and is looking forward to expanding it in the future.