Inuit communities have raised opposition to the proposal to increase an iron ore mine on Baffin Island in northern Canada.
An Inuit organisation within the territory of Nunavut in northern Canada has voted in opposition to backing the deliberate enlargement of a contentious iron ore mine, after native Inuit communities raised staunch opposition to the proposal.
The Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) stated in an announcement on Friday that its board of administrators handed a decision to not help the enlargement of the Mary River mine on Baffin Island, within the Arctic Archipelago. The QIA is remitted to guard Inuit rights and pursuits within the space.
The firm in command of the mine, Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation, had proposed doubling its output from six to 12 million tonnes a yr, and constructing a 110km railway connecting the location to a port, in addition to a second port dock from which to ship the fabric.
“Inuit did not participate in the development of the proposal, and key information about project impacts remain unclear. Therefore, the QIA Board will not recommend approval,” QIA President PJ Akeeagok stated within the group’s assertion.
Inuit hunters had erected a blockade on the Mary River mine final month to protest in opposition to the proposed enlargement, often known as part two of growth.
The hunters, in addition to different residents and leaders in Inuit communities on Baffin Island, had raised considerations the venture would hurt the wildlife they rely on for his or her survival, together with narwhal, seals, caribou and fish.
They additionally stated their voices had not been listened to, whereas conventional Inuit data – often known as Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit – had not been factored into the corporate’s consideration of potential impacts.
“Inuit are being asked to carry so much risk, with very little benefit, or benefits that come in the form of money, which can’t replace our culture or the wildlife or our harvesting practices,” Eric Ootoovak, chairperson of Mittimatalik Hunters and Trappers Organization (MHTO) within the Inuit hamlet of Pond Inlet, informed Al Jazeera final month.
In its assertion, the QIA stated its board had examined considerations in regards to the impact of mud from the mine, potential penalties on wildlife, the restricted inclusion of Inuit data, and the shortage of a joint growth “Adaptive Management Plan”.
“QIA’s Board of Directors remains open to resource development in the Qikiqtani Region and welcomes proposals from Baffinland that prioritize Inuit involvement from the beginning and which align with an Inuit vision of the future,” it stated.
In an announcement on Saturday, Baffinland stated it had taken word of the QIA’s determination, however was “pleased” the organisation stated it welcomed proposals to handle considerations.
“We have worked with the QIA and others over many years to develop an approach to advancing Mary River that meets strict environmental standards while providing significant control and oversight of mine operation to Inuit,” Baffinland CEO Brian Penney stated.
“We will continue our community outreach and seek to meet the QIA and others as soon as practicable to discuss their concerns in order to find a mutually agreeable way forward.”
The enlargement continues to be earlier than the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB), which held environmental evaluation hearings in January and February.
After extra deliberate periods in April, it can give a suggestion to the Canadian federal authorities on whether or not to approve it.