Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut October 04, 2012 - 9:32 am

QIA reviews NIRB’s 184 conditions on Mary River iron project

Qikiqtani Inuit Association says more review is needed

DAVID MURPHY
Qikiqtani Inuit Association's Mary River iron mine project staff answer questions at QIA's annual general meeting at the Anglican Parish Hall in Iqaluit Oct. 2. From left to right, environmental assessment lead Joel Fortier, Mary River project committee co-ordinator Solomon Awa, and major projects department director Stephen Williamson-Bathory. (FILE PHOTO)
Qikiqtani Inuit Association's Mary River iron mine project staff answer questions at QIA's annual general meeting at the Anglican Parish Hall in Iqaluit Oct. 2. From left to right, environmental assessment lead Joel Fortier, Mary River project committee co-ordinator Solomon Awa, and major projects department director Stephen Williamson-Bathory. (FILE PHOTO)

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association has issues with the 184 terms and conditions that the Nunavut Impact Review Board wants Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. to meet before proceeding with its Mary River iron mine project.

And, although the QIA said it’s pleased that many of its own terms and conditions were included in the NIRB’s final hearing report sent for approval by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada minister John Duncan, further review is needed, said information discussed at this week’s QIA annual general meeting in Iqaluit.

That’s why the QIA is conducting an “in-depth analysis” of the terms and conditions set by the NIRB. 

Reading from a QIA analysis Oct. 2 at the AGM, major projects director Stephen Williamson-Bathory said “QIA is working with its technical team to assemble a detailed analysis of each term and condition to determine whether or not QIA is satisfied with each outcome.”

The QIA has already established 12 conditions it wants changed.

Among these, further review is needed to:

• clarify timelines or change wording to ensure compliance, for example changing the word “encourage” to “require” regarding socio-economic matters;

• add specific criteria, thresholds or objectives, for example specific terms related to water effluent and explosive residue;

• limit ship transits through ice, and,

• plan for protection of caribou in calving and post-calving periods  

The QIA’s analysis of the final hearing report says the association is working with Baffinland and other review parties to discuss the terms and conditions.

When a review is done, the QIA has two options according to Williamson-Bathory: approach John Duncan, the minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, directly to raise the concerns, or wait until after Duncan’s decision, then raise the issues at the NIRB’s project certificate workshop.

That’s when all parties involved discuss the terms and conditions within the NIRB final hearing report. The QIA is predicting this could take place in mid-November.

Only at the workshop does the NIRB issue its final project certificate for the Mary River iron mine

And Duncan may still modify the project certificate later if certain conditions are not working as expected.

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