On April 29, 2014, the Federal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Bernard Valcourt, approved the positive recommendation by the Nunavut Impact Review Board. This gives Baffinland the go-ahead for the Early Revenue Phase amendment to the Mary River Project involving the seasonal shipping of 3.5 million tonnes of iron ore from Milne Inlet. At the same time, Minister Valcourt also signed off on the Nunavut Planning Commission’s proposed recommendation to amend the North Baffin Regional Land Use Plan to accommodate the shipping.
Baffinland’s President and CEO Tom Paddon stated, “This is a welcome achievement for our Company and I am pleased that all stakeholders have recognized the need to allow for regulatory flexibility in order for us to achieve a phased approach to developing this project. We are very pleased with the progress of construction and the building of our workforce. We have seen significant interest in employment from all five North Baffin Communities and will continue to build the skills and experience of our Inuit workforce.”
The early revenue phase provides for a phased approach to the development of the Mary River Project. Construction of the site commenced in Q2 of 2013 with mining of iron ore scheduled to begin as early as Q3 2014, and first shipment of iron ore expected during the open water season of 2015.