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New Inuit benefit agreement signed with Mary River Mine

Baffinland's Mary River Mine, Nunavut. © Hark Nijjar, Hark Nijjar Photography

Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association signed a new Inuit Certainty Agreement on June 16. The agreement, which is meant to give more authority to Inuit over the environmental impacts of the Mary River Mine, will be worth more than $1 billion over the life of the iron ore mine. 

The agreement includes an Inuit stewardship program that will expand to all communities impacted by the mine. The stewards will monitor the land and water and report to a committee that will alert the mine if there are concerns and work together with Inuit to find solutions. 

The new agreement will allow the mine’s phase‐two production and rail expansion to move forward, which would increase production at Mary River. 

Starting immediately, royalties paid to the Qikiqtani Inuit Association will increase from 1.19 per cent to 1.5 per cent. If the expansion goes ahead, royalties will gradually increase to three per cent over the next five years. 

Inuit employed by Baffinland would also start receiving a daily childcare subsidy for each child under the age of 14. The mine is also committing up to $3 million per community for daycares. 

A country food study will also be led by Inuit in Pond Inlet, Nunavut, to gather baseline data for use in future environmental decision‐making between Inuit and the mining company. 

The Inuit association says it will launch videos in both languages over the summer explaining the benefits within the Certainty Agreement.