To safeguard the environment in which we operate, Baffinland employs a balance of scientific and Inuit knowledge.
Through extensive consultation, environmental engineering and environmental monitoring, potential impacts from our activities are either avoided or minimized to a level that is acceptable to all stakeholders. The Sustainability team conducts a number of programs pertaining to archeology, water treatment, wildlife and the marine environment. These programs are designed to monitor and ensure protection of the environment. The department also delivers education of best environmental practices to all employees at the mine site.
Environmental Assessment Process
The Environmental Assessment process with the Nunavut Impact Review Board is the primary step established under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement to ensure that proposed projects undergo a thorough and public review to identify potential project impacts and implement plans to either avoid or mitigate them prior to project approval and development.
Extensive archaeological surveys and research have been taken as part of the Mary River Project. A substantial amount of previously undocumented information has been collected through Baffinland surveys, which continue to add to the historic knowledge base for the North Baffin Region settlements. All archaeological work is approved and reviewed in concert with the Inuit Heritage Trust and the Government of Nunavut prior to any development.
The federal government, local communities, and the Nunavut Water Board are involved in reviewing a project’s potential water use and discharges. Prior to the development of the Mary River Project, an extensive public review for a Type A Water Licence was undertaken to ensure that the project water requirements were well understood. Baffinland is now operating under its Type A Water licence, which was issued by the Nunavut Water Board. As part of this licence, water bodies are constantly monitored so that Baffinland complies with all federal and territorial requirements.
As part of Baffinland’s Project Certificate, Baffinland conducts research on numerous species of wildlife and monitors their environment to ensure that these species are not adversely impacted and that the entire ecosystem continues to function during and after the mining operations. Monitoring results are reviewed with both the marine and terrestrial environment working groups to ensure that all stakeholders have the opportunity to comment on the work that Baffinland is conducting.
Read about our narwhal study conducted at Bruce Head here
Baffinland hires a number of students during the spring and summer season to assist with the ongoing environmental projects, including the narwhal study conducted at Bruce Head, water monitoring and testing, and geology. Almost every department provides opportunities based in the North for students to gain a hands on experience to complement their education.