Nunavut Post

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Nunavut community questions where money from mining firm has gone

Nunavut

Key takeaways: 

  • Baffinland provides no details on paying $42.9 million in Sanirajak, pop. 850.
  • People in the community are baffled over Baffinland Iron Mines’ claim that it’s paid nearly $43 million to Inuit companies in the community since 2018. 

A firm that runs the most crucial mining process in Nunavut says it has provided tens of millions of dollars in contracts to Inuit companies in the hamlet of Sanirajak. Still, some citizens say they don’t know where that fund has gone.

An Oct. 18, 2021, message from Baffinland Iron Mines, which runs the Mary River iron ore mine close to Pond Inlet, outlines community engagement with its neighbors.

A section of the memo emphasizes direct advantages to Sanirajak, a community of approximately 850 people, including $42.9 million awarded to Inuit companies there since 2018.

Baffinland told The Canadian Press that it could not deliver details on the funds, including the names of its contractors in Sanirajak, because its commercial agreements are intimate. The $42.9 million represents the importance of contracts awarded to Inuit companies that did work at its Mary River and Milne Inlet sites. Most of the prices are labor, materials, equipment, or facilities.

Also read: Government of Nunavut asked to pay $100K for 2020 fuel spill

A firm that runs the most crucial mining process in Nunavut says it has provided tens of millions of dollars in contracts to Inuit companies

“Contractor returns are only a part of the $42.9M figure,” it said.

Baffinland added that it describes an Inuit company in a contract with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association. This group represents Inuit in the Baffin province and acts as the mining firm’s owner.

The contract says an Inuit company must carry out most of its business in the Nunavut Settlement Area and be enrolled with Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. This land-claims body represents Nunavut Inuit and keeps a registry of all Inuit companies in the region.

The Canadian Press put questions to the Qikiqtani Inuit Association but did not get an answer.

Source – cbc.ca

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