Nunavut: More than 1,000 Baffinland employees receive their layoff notice

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Nunavut: Over 1,000 Baffinland Employees Receive Layoff Notice

Baffinland Iron Mines, which runs operations at the Mary River iron ore mine, has sent layoff notices to 1,100 employees.

On Sunday, mining company Baffinland Iron Mines sent layoff notices to 1,100 of its employees, including 200 Inuit.

The company that had already informed the Government of Nunavut in June future layoffs has just sent its notices to employees.

Company spokesman Peter Akman says Baffinland is set to proceed with two waves of layoffs scheduled for September 25 and October 11 if it does not receive permission to shift its production to six million tonnes of iron ore at the Mary River mine by the end of the year.

Mr. Akman says the notices are for all employees in its northern operations.

Anyone working at both sites: the port or the Mary River site, but also across Iqaluit and Nunavut. Anyone working for us has potentially received their opinion.

One of the letters received by the employees, obtained by CBC, explains that the layoff notice is the result of the regulatory process moving more slowly than necessary to meet Baffinland's operational requirements.

< p class="e-p">The Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) is currently considering a request from the company to continue mining the ore at a rate similar to recent years, while the Minister Minister of Northern Affairs, Dan Vandal, is considering the action to be taken on the recommendation of the NIRB not to authorize the planned expansion of the mine.

Minister Vandal urged the Commission to provide its recommendation by August 26. In a notice published on July 19, CNER said it would not be able to meet this deadline due to logistical constraints and existing Commission commitments.

Since 2018, the mine has received temporary authorization to increase its annual production from 4.2 million tonnes to six million tonnes of iron. This license, however, expired on December 31, 2021, and Baffinland says it was unable to request an extension of this license sooner due to the pandemic.

Marine conservation group Oceans North had previously said Baffinland's situation was a predictable consequence of poor management and planning and expressed concern that the company is using the prospect of redundancies to pressure the Commission into approving current and future expansion of the mine.

Peter Akman clarifies that Baffinland is still working on obtain its permit to increase its production and export limit. If successful, the company would rescind the layoff notices.

He adds that the notices were sent out of an abundance of caution in case mining operations are not approved before Mary River reaches its current production limit. He thinks it could happen by mid-September for ore mining and by early October for export.

When does this happen? will produce, and if no permission is received by then, Peter Akman argues that the miner will have no choice but to stop production.

For the rest of 2022, we will have no more work to do.

Mr. Akman does not specify whether employees who may be laid off will be rehired.

With information from Jackie McKay

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