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Rejection of a Plan to Expand an Arctic Mine gives hope to the Narwhal Population

The construction of an iron ore mine in the Arctic, which would have resulted in more shipping and the “total extinction of Narwhal” from the region, has been halted. The Nunavut Impact Review Board has denied a proposal from Baffinland Iron Mines Corp to considerably increase mining on the northern extremity of Baffin Island in Nunavut, Canada, after four years of discussions and deliberations. The region is home to one of the world’s finest iron ore resources as well as the world’s densest Narwhal population.

Conservationists and community people working to conserve the Narwhal population and the Inuit who rely on them for food were surprised and relieved by the news. The review board stated on Friday that the Mary River mine expansion proposal might have “severe and long-term deleterious consequences on marine mammals, the marine environment, fish, caribou, and other terrestrial animals, flora, and freshwater.”

These negative consequences, in the Board’s opinion, might also have an influence on Inuit harvesting, culture, land usage, and food security,” it stated. Canada’s northern affairs minister, Dan Vandal, must now decide whether to support the review board or Baffinland.

Within the next three months, he is anticipated to make a choice.Its expansion plan aimed to expand shipping from its north Baffin Island port of Milne Inlet from 6 million to 12 million tonnes of iron ore per year. It also hoped to construct a second railway that would connect to another port, from which it planned to carry an additional 18 million tonnes.

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