Baffinland ups Mary River iron ore shipments to 6 million tonnes per year

Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal gave his approval to Baffinland…

Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal gave his approval to Baffinland Iron Mines’ plan to boost shipments from its Mary River mine to 6 million t/y from 4.2 million t/y. The Nunavut Impact Review Board earlier recommended acceptance of the proposal.

The company is allowed to ship at least 6 million t/y from Milne Inlet if “unexpected circumstances” mean ore is stockpiled at the port from the previous year. For example, that was the case last  year when heavy ice put an early end to shipping and some ore was left at the port.

This positive decision comes only months after the federal government rejected the proposed phase two expansion project at Mary River. Those plans involved boosting mine output to 12 million t/y and the building of a new 110-km railway to the port. It was billed as a way to sustain the jobs created by Baffinland. The application contained no changes to mining and crushing at the mine site.

There are five deposits on the Mary River property. Baffinland began mining in 2015 with a plan to  create an 18-million-t/y operation from the deposit #1. Mining began at a rate of 3.5 million tonnes, which is trucked to the port of Milne Inlet. The mine is a conventional truck-and-shovel operation with portable crushers at the mine site.


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