Hunters says Baffin Island mine assessment moving too fast, blockade mine

A group of Baffin Island hunters who say their voices aren't being heard in the hearings on an open-pit iron ore mine expansion have blocked access to the mine.

The Canadian Press

Flights have been grounded and most operations suspended at an open-pit iron ore mine on Nunavut's Baffin Island as protesters continue to block the site's supply road and air strip.

Hunters from Arctic Bay and Pond Inlet set up the blockade last Thursday, after travelling two days by snowmobile to get to Baffinland's Mary River mine.

The hunters say their voices aren't being heard at environmental hearings on the mine's proposed expansion, which would double its iron ore output and build a 110-kilometre railway from the mine to the ocean to transport it.

Some worry the mining company is moving too fast and not properly considering the effects an expansion would have on wildlife, including narwhal and caribou.

A news release from Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. says there are currently 700 people working at the mine site.

Protests in support of the hunters at the mine are taking place across Nunavut today.

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