• 15m 27s

    NIRB Hearing for Mary River Project - Baffinland

    uploaded by: Carol Kunnuk

    channel: Pond Inlet | Mittimatalik | ᒥᑦᑎᒪᑕᓕᒃ

    The Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) public hearing in Pond Inlet (Nunavut) to assess Baffinland’s revised Early Revenue Phase proposal and Environmental Review for the Mary River iron ore mining project.

    Day 1 (January 27, 2014)

    Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation Presentation (in English)

    Camera: David Poisey, Zacharias Kunuk

    Editor: Carol Kunnuk


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    uploaded date: 04-04-2014

  • 14m 30s

    NIRB Hearing for Mary River Project - IsumaTV

    uploaded by: Carol Kunnuk

    channel: Pond Inlet | Mittimatalik | ᒥᑦᑎᒪᑕᓕᒃ

    The Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) public hearing in Pond Inlet (Nunavut) to assess Baffinland’s revised Early Revenue Phase proposal and Environmental Review for the Mary River iron ore mining project.

    Day 1 (January 27, 2014)

    IsumaTV’s Digital Indigenous Democracy’s presentation by Zacharias Kunuk and Jonathan Frantz (in English)

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    uploaded date: 03-04-2014

  • Iqaluit councillors wrestle with public works capacity

    uploaded by: Cara Di Staulo

    channel: DID News

    Mining projects may lure trained staff away from city, director warns


    Iqaluit’s director of public works says the city should brace itself for the start of the Mary River iron project in north Baffin, because it could draw qualified public works staff away from the city.

    Baffinland Iron Mine Corp.’s long-awaited iron mining projectat Mary River in north Baffin awaits final approval this year.

    Public works director Keith Couture told city council Jan. 10, during discussions on the city’s 2014 budget, that if Baffinland offers better benefits, public works staff, especially heavy equipment operators, could be drained away.

    City councillors at the meeting said they’re concerned about possible staff shortages in the public works department, and asked Couture if more money should be budgeted for additional staff for road maintenance and repairs.

    “What we need is not just staff — we need trained staff, which is a different thing. We’re trying to upgrade our operators,” Couture told council. “I’m trying to get a bigger pool of trained people.”

    The director pointed to other difficulties his department faces, related to shift work and the narrow window of opportunity to in the summer for repair work, which amounts to just two months.

    “You’ve got to get trained staff. You’ve got to get staff that know the city,” said Couture, who took the job in mid-2012. He came to Iqaluit with more than 30 years’ experience with municipalities in Ontario, mostly in the north of the province.

    “It’s taken me a year or more to finally know where the roads are, with the numbering system and all that,” said Couture. “And the drivers have to know that too. Its an education, from both perspectives, from management and the fact that we’ve got to get people and offer them the opportunity to advance here with the city.”

    Mayor John Graham and Coun. Kenny Bell said the department’s priority should be the upkeep and improvement of the city’s roads.

    “Our roads are in major disrepair, and we need to at least start correcting that. And [added] staff will help with that,” Bell said.

    Bell described poor staffing of road crews as “a massive failure by this council — and it has been for 40 years.”

    Couture highlighted that, in addition to a staff training program in the works with the city’s training director, he is drafting a public works plan tailored specifically for Iqaluit, which will give clear guidelines on maintenance of roads, signage, snow removal, and staff hiring.

    “The plan is my vision of what the city needs, and I’m trying to put it into play,” he said. “If it’s not written down, nobody wants to do it.

    “I want it so that if I ever leave, here’s the book. Here’s the way it should be done,” Couture said. “It’s going to be cut and dried. We will still have to make decisions, but the majority of what we do will be written as policy.”

    The director said his goal is to have a complete set of guidelines ready for the city “within a year.”

    Coun. Simon Nattaq agreed on the importance of guidelines unique to the city, noting that Iqaluit’s roads are built on soils not found in other parts of Nunavut.

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    uploaded date: 14-01-2014

  • Public hearings start again this week for scaled down Mary River proposal

    uploaded by: Cara Di Staulo

    channel: DID News

    Nunavut Planning Commission looking at Baffinland's new transportation corridor

    By Lisa Gregoire


    The Nunavut Planning Commission will hold public hearings this week in Clyde River, Grise Fiord, Resolute, Arctic Bay and Pond Inlet to allow members of the public to share their views and concerns about Baffinland Iron Mine Corp.’s scaled-down iron mine proposal in north Baffin.


    “Feedback received during the Public Review will be used to assist the NPC to determine whether the [early revenue phase of Mary River] meets the information requirements of Appendices J and K of the North Baffin Regional Land Use Plan, and whether to recommend an amendment to the land use plan,” the NPC said on its website.


    After years of hearings, technical meetings, public input and thousands of pages of material describing the scope of the Mary River iron mine south of Pond Inlet and its potential impacts on the land, water, animals and people, the proponent, Baffinland, finally got a project certificate to go ahead with the mine in December 2012.


    Weeks later, Baffinland announced that because of slumping steel prices, they would be scaling back their proposal to a phased-in approach that would involve temporarily postponing construction of the railway to Steensby Inlet and the year-round port there.


    Instead, they would ship only 3.5 million tonnes of ore a year out of Milne Inlet, as opposed to 18 million tonnes, and only between July and October.


    This is referred to as Baffinland’s Early Revenue Phase (ERP) and includes, according to NPC documents, “upgrades to the Milne Inlet Tote Road, new permanent project facilities at Milne Inlet and increased truck traffic and shipping traffic transporting iron ore from Mary River Mine Site to markets overseas.”


    The potential for greater, or at least different, impacts in those areas, prompted a new round of public consultations. For the NPC’s part, it must examine whether the revised transportation corridor complies with the North Baffin Regional Land Use Plan. After that, the NIRB must consider, again, the wider potential impacts on the marine, land and social environment.


    The land use hearings this week were supposed to be handled jointly by the NPC and the Nunavut Impact Review Board but instead, these hearings will be chaired by the NPC alone.


    In a series of letters between the NIRB and the NPC in late November 2013, the NIRB expressed its intention to pull out of the hearings because the board felt it had not been properly consulted on the format, procedures and rules of the hearings.


    For one, the NIRB preferred “information sessions” rather than full blown hearings, and the board also felt there had not been enough public notice of the hearings given to “community organizations in the North Baffin, to the Government of Nunavut, or to the general public.”


    While acknowledging these omissions, “may have been the result of inadvertence, it does not change the fact that this complete lack of communication has significantly limited the Board’s ability to participate in a meaningful way in the collaborative conduct of the joint review,” wrote Ryan Barry, the NIRB’s executive director, in a Nov. 22 letter to the NPC.

    Despite these “regrettable developments,” the NIRB remains committed to a joint review of the transportation corridor application associated with Baffinland’s ERP proposal, the letter concludes, and it will continue soliciting public input and sharing information with the NPC.


    When contacted by Nunatsiaq News, Barry downplayed the dispute.


    “The NPC and NIRB have different rules of procedure which they must follow when fulfilling their respective responsibilities and this led to the NIRB being unable to participate directly in the NPC’s scheduled hearings,” Barry wrote in an email.


    “However in no way do we feel this would hamper the NPC’s success in facilitating these sessions or the timeliness of either the NPC-NIRB joint review of the transportation corridor application or the NIRB assessment of the full early revenue phase proposal.”


    In an email to Nunatsiaq News Jan. 7, Sharon Ehaloak, executive director of the NPC, said the NIRB’s absence from the hearings this week will have no bearing on the quality or outcome of the consultation.


    “Furthermore,” she wrote, “the NIRB remains a partner to the wider [North Baffin Regional Land Use Plan] public review; they don’t need to be at the hearing for the NPC to access the information the NIRB has gathered in its review process.”


    However, she is more pointed in a Nov. 24 letter to Barry. In that letter, Ehaloak defends the NPC’s actions saying it was the commission’s job to take the lead in the process and so it applied its own criteria as a result.


    She told Barry public hearings are necessary because the “information sessions” that the NIRB had previously conducted for the railway, “merely informed the public that the NPC and the NIRB were reviewing the amendment application,” and thus didn’t allow Inuit and other members of the public to “meaningfully participate” in the process.


    “The NPC is of the view that greater public involvement in the review of the ERP is necessary to satisfy the NPC’s express and implied obligations in the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement to act in the public interest,” Ehaloak wrote in the letter.


    The low-level tiff between the two organizations highlights the continuing convoluted nature of development in Nunavut which requires complex approvals from a variety of boards that have specific jurisdictional responsibilities under the land claim.


    For years, the Nunavut Government, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. and the Government of Canada have tried to streamline the process.


    In June 2013, the federal Northern Jobs and Growth Act received royal assent and included within it, the Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act, which is meant to make the review process “more efficient and predictable.”

    The problem is, the NIRB and NPC say they don’t have enough money and capacity to achieve the federal government’s goals.


    In January 2013, NIRB and NPC representatives told a House of Commons committee that they were already stretched to the breaking point with current responsibilities to take on new tasks involving, among other things, translation and access to information obligations.


    Those wishing to attend the public hearings this week in north Baffin can find a schedule of times and places here.

    While the NPC encouraged participants to give prior notice if they wanted to speak and submit their written comments in advance, time has been set aside on each day’s agenda for oral comments from the public. The NPC’s rules of procedure for the hearings can be found here.



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    uploaded date: 07-01-2014

  • Baffinland CEO says no to shipping ore through Northwest Passage

    uploaded by: Cara Di Staulo

    channel: DID News

    Chief executive Tom Paddon says shipping route is too shallow for iron ore and coal carriers


    The head of a Canadian mining company developing a massive mineral deposit within the Arctic Circle said the Northwest Passage won't work as a viable shipping route to Europe and Asia.

    Baffinland Iron Mines Corp., which is owned by steel giant ArcelorMittal and private equity firm Iron Ore Holdings LP, is building one of the largest iron ore mines in the world on Baffin Island in Nunavut. The $750-million Mary River mine is on track to open in 2015 and the ore will be shipped to Europe.

    "In my opinion the Northwest Passage is not a transit route of any significance," Tom Paddon, Baffinland's chief executive, told the Arctic Futures 2013 conference in Brussels on Thursday.

    Mr. Paddon said one problem is the Northwest Passage's depth, which prevents it from becoming a major trade route. Many commodities such as iron ore and coal are shipped on bulk carriers that need a depth of up to 19 metres, also known as "capesize" vessels. Much of the Northwest Passage is only 15 metres deep.

    "So the iron ore business is not looking to move material from one side of the world to the other through the Northwest Passage unless somebody invents a different way to sail a boat," he said.

    His opinion conflicts with that of the Canadian government, which has gone to great lengths to push utilization of the Northwest Passage as a way to ensure Canadian sovereignty in the North. Canada is also worried that Russia's rival Northern Sea Route will develop more quickly as a shipping alternative.

    The federal government helped sponsor the recent voyage from Vancouver to Finland of a Danish ship loaded with metallurgical coal, which is used to make steel. The ship was the first bulk carrier to sail through the Northwest Passage and the voyage was hailed as proof that the route provides a faster and cheaper alternative to the Panama Canal.

    Some experts agree with Mr. Paddon.

    Kathrin Keil, a scientist at Germany's Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, dismissed the trip, noting that the Danish ship was escorted by a Canadian Coastguard vessel. "These are all stunts," she said during a break in the Arctic conference. "These are just to show we have the technology to do it. They have nothing to do with trade."

    Ms. Keil said Arctic shipping in general is too expensive to become a real alternative to traditional routes, even though the northern trips are much shorter. She told the conference that just 46 ships crossed Russia's Northern Sea Route last year and only 40 have made the trip this year. Many of those trips were domestic voyages within Russia and did not go all the way through to Asia. By contrast, 18,000 ships use the Suez Canal annually and 13,000 ply the Panama Canal.

    "It's a niche," she said referring to the Arctic route. "For certain ships, for certain commodities, for a certain time of the year."

    She added that among the advantages of the longer southern voyage is the opportunity to stop at ports along the way, something that can't happen in the Arctic. "You want to call at all these other ports. You want to actually serve all these other markets too," she said.

    Arctic shipping will remain largely "destinational," or for specific purposes such as sending supplies to mining companies or moving resources to ports, she said. "But [the Arctic] is not an all year round, global maritime trade route. That's not what it is and probably won't be."

    Anders Backman, an expert on Arctic shipping from the University of Gothenberg in Sweden, told the conference that he also did not believe shipping would increase significantly in the North because of the expense and difficult sailing conditions. "Maybe it will increase compared to today," he said. "But it will not be dramatic."

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    uploaded date: 22-10-2013

  • Nolinor win air contract for Mary River Project

    uploaded by: Cara Di Staulo

    channel: Isuma News

    Nolinor, local partner win air contract for Nunavut’s Mary River project

    Cargo-passenger service based out of Kitchener-Waterloo


    A new joint-venture alliance between Nolinor, a Quebec-based charter airline and Sarvaq Logistics, an expediting and freight firm at the Iqaluit International Airport, plans to run two flights a week from the airport at Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont. to northern Baffin Island.

    Two Boeing 737s will fly to Nunavut with cargo and passengers to a mining project that multiple sources have identified as the Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.’s Mary River iron mine project.

    But Dave Morgan, the director of charter operations at Nolinor, said he cannot release the name of the company yet due to contractual obligations.

    But he said he’s looking forward to the first flight north on Sept. 16, which will carry cargo and 119 passengers

    Nolinor’s flights will depart in the morning from the Kitchener-Waterloo airport and on their way up stop at Iqaluit, where Frobisher Bay Touchdown Services will provide refueling and other services.

    If bad weather prevents the flights to and from the mine from taking off again, passengers will stay in Iqaluit, Morgan said.

    Nolinor now has joint ventures across the North to take advantage of mining exploration and production: in the Kitikmeot region, where it recently established a base in Yellowknife with Kitikmeot Aviation, in the Kivalliq region with Sarliaq Holdings Ltd, where their joint venture provides transportation for the Meadowbank gold mine near Baker Lake, and in Nunavik, with Developpements Aputik.

    “We want to grow across the Arctic,” Morgan said.

    Nolinor’s efforts in working with local people has generated positive response and feedback, he said.

    Many people he’s met in the North also welcome a new player, Morgan said,  saying his company’s presence breaks what he called “the monopoly in Arctic aviation.”

    The new flights could also open new charter opportunities for people traveling from the North.

    Nolinor and one of its partners could, for example, offer flights from one of its northern destinations to Kitchener-Waterloo when the 737s (three now and another one set to arrive shortly) are not flying.

    As well, members of the public could even “crowd-source” flights, Morgan suggested, by selling seats to a flight online, which has been done successfully in other places.


    COMMENTS on Nunatsiaq Online

    September 11, 2013

    #1. Posted by Just a thought... on September 09, 2013

    If the charter flights ended up being cheaper than YFB-YOW-YYZ, I’d fly to KW all the time! Let’s do it, Nolinor!

    #2. Posted by Numbers on September 09, 2013

    If #s were to be determined by random bookings…

    ABout $200,000 in costs.

    At 112 people, that’s $1700+ in cheap tickets, totalling the investment.

    And really, are the students and people of the KWA really ready for the people of Canada’s newest territory?

    More importantly, the reciprocal?  Bon appetitit, Waterloo!

    #3. Posted by Charter on September 10, 2013

    To #1 - do you know how charters work? You won’t be on it unless you work for the mine or a contractor. This arrangement will do nothing for the people of Nunavut.

    #4. Posted by Just a thought... on September 10, 2013

    #3, I am quite aware of how charters work. In case you missed the following, I’ll post it.

    “The new flights could also open new charter opportunities for people traveling from the North.

    Nolinor and one of its partners could, for example, offer flights from one of its northern destinations to Kitchener-Waterloo when the 737s (three now and another one set to arrive shortly) are not flying.

    As well, members of the public could even “crowd-source” flights, Morgan suggested, by selling seats to a flight online, which has been done successfully in other places.”


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    uploaded date: 11-09-2013

  • QIA set to sign deals with Baffinland for Mary River iron mine

    uploaded by: Cara Di Staulo

    channel: Isuma News

    QIA must approve Inuit impact and benefits agreement and commercial production lease

    The Qikiqtani Inuit Association’s board of directors, who represent Inuit from communities in Nunavut’s Baffin region, plan to hold a special meeting in Iqaluit this week to talk about some big issues, including an impact and benefit agreement and commercial production lease with Baffinland Iron Mines Corp, developer of the Mary River project.

    “Our board usually meets twice a year however, under special circumstances, we have agreed to meet this month to decide on some pressing issues of priority,” said Okalik Eegeesiak, the QIA’s president, in a Sept. 3 news release.

    At this meeting, the board will also appoint a new acting vice-president.

    And the board members will receive briefings on the Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement-in-Principle and commercial production lease for Baffinland Iron Mine Corp.‘s Mary River iron mine project.

    Their meeting is likely to be capped off by resolutions calling for the approval of the two agreements.

    Article 26 of the NLCA requires that before a large development project, like Mary River, can proceed in Nunavut, an IIBA must be reached with a designated Inuit organization.

    In 2009, QIA and Baffinland signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to some economic provisions that would later become part of a final IIBA.

    This past April, Eegeesiak said the draft IIBA for the project ran to more than 200 pages.

    For Mary River to operate as a mine, QIA and Baffinland must also finalize a commercial production lease.

    This lease will touch on matters including rent, boundaries, water use fees, a quarry concession agreement, environmental conditions, authorities for QIA inspectors and auditors, required plans and reporting, and the amount and type of financial security.

    Baffinland wants to build an iron mine at Mary River in northern Baffin Island that would produce 3.5 million tonnes of iron ore a year — a big step down from the much larger mine that the company planned to build until this past January when owners announced they would go ahead with a scaled-down project.

    The “early revenue” phase of that scaled-down project would lead eventually to the construction of a larger, approved project to be completed within five years — by early 2019 — and, by 2020, 20 million tonnes of ore would start flowing from Mary River.

    The QIA board meeting takes place from Sept. 4 to Sept. 5 at the Anglican Parish Hall in Iqaluit.


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    uploaded date: 04-09-2013

  • 2h 20m 1s

    Part 1. Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB), information for Inuit

    uploaded by: Mark Airut

    channel: My Father's Land

    May 16, 2012 8pm EST. Discussion of Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) and its role in relation to the Baffinland Iron Mine project going through environmental review. Hosted by Lucasie Ivalu and Abraham Tagalik, guests include Amanda Hanson, NIRB; Sandra Inutiq, Inuit lawyer; Lloyd Lipsett, human rights lawyer; with call-in questions and comments from Inuit about NIRB and Baffinland.… Read more

    uploaded date: 16-05-2012

  • 2h 30m 44s

    Part 2. Human Rights (Lloyd Lipsett). more information on Baffinland

    uploaded by: Mark Airut

    channel: My Father's Land

    May 10, 2012 8pm EST. Part Two of two shows. Human Rights lawyer Lloyd Lipsett continues his discussion of human rights and Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) with Inuit in relation to the Baffinland Iron Mine project going through environmental review. With call-in questions and comments from Inuit about Baffinland. May 10, 2012, 8 pm EST, podcast 150 minutes, in English and Inuktitut.… Read more

    uploaded date: 10-05-2012