Iqaluit hosts meetings on Baffinland iron project
Qikiqtani Inuit Association will have input on design of caribou crossings on mine railway
Technical meetings are taking place this week in Iqaluit on Baffinland's Mary River iron ore project.
On Tuesday, Baffinland and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association identified some common ground regarding the proposed railway to ship iron ore to a port at Steensby Inlet.
The 149-kilometre railway would allow iron ore to be transported to a port at Steensby Inlet from the proposed Mary River mine, located about 160 kilometres south of Pond Inlet. The railway will take three years to build.
Solomon Awa with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association said the organization wants to ensure caribou will be protected and that Inuit are involved in the development of the railway.
"QIA requests that Inuit would be involved, particularly in the field where exactly the locations are at the caribou crossings so we can put those in place for the railway alignment," he said.
Awa said the seven surrounding communities want to be included in the design of the railway crossings and the decisions on where they're put.
"We can confirm that there will be involvement with the QIA and Inuit in the design of the crossings," said Oliver Curran, director of sustainability with Baffinland.
The company has twice scaled back its plans for work on the site this year. Baffinland submitted its final environmental impact statement on the Mary River mine to the Nunavut Impact Review Board in February.
The technical meetings continue.