Federal ministers reject request by Nunavut iron mine to double production

POND INLET — Federal cabinet ministers have denied a request to expand an iron ore mine on the northern tip of Baffin Island.

Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal has issued a letter to the Nunavut Impact Review Board saying Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation's proposal should not proceed at this time.

He cites concerns with potential negative environmental impacts to wildlife, vegetation and water, as well as socio-economic effects on Inuit.

The proposed expansion would double production at the Mary River Mine to 12 million tonnes.

It would also see construction of a 110-kilometre runway from the mine to the port at Milne Inlet, a second dock at the port and expanded fuel storage and buildings.

The review board, an environmental assessment agency in Nunavut, had recommended in May that the expansion be denied after four years of extensive review.

Earlier this year, the federal government extended a production increase to six million tonnes from 4.2 million tonnes at the mine until the end of this year.

The Canadian Press