Arcelor Mittal's $4-bn North Baffin Island ore JV wins Canadian approval

Canada's Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) has cleared one of the largest mining operations in the country in the territory of Nunavut on the North Baffin Island, the Mary River iron ore project run by Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation (BIMC) by imposing an array of stringent requirements.

Global steel giant ArcelorMittal is the majority shareholder in BIMC with a 70-per cent stake while Canada's Iron Ore Holdings owns the remaining 30 per cent.

NIRB has stipulated 184 conditions which are mostly focused on minimising the negative environmental and social effects of the proposed development.

The board's decision is the outcome of a four-year assessment of the project considering the environmental and social impacts of the project on the pristine northernmost territory of Nunavut in the country's Arctic region.

The $4-billion Mary River project involves construction of a massive open pit iron ore mine in the Qikiqtaaluk region of Nunavut and associated infrastructure for extraction, transportation and shipment of iron ore.

 The high-quality iron ore deposit consists of an estimated 365 million tonnes (Mt) of grade 64.66 per cent. The project will have an estimated annual capacity of 18 Mt, which will be suitable for direct shipping after crushing and screening.