Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

A mining 'whopper'

  • Print

The two-billion-year-old rock that Eric Prosh, director of the Nunavut minerals department, placed on his desk was the size of a cantaloupe but as heavy as a pumpkin -- not surprising, given that rich-black rock is 65 per cent iron, three times the concentration of typical iron ore.

The ore body from which Prosh's sample was taken is so rich, in fact, that it has launched the biggest development in Arctic history -- an open-pit mine at Mary River near the top of Baffin Island, 1,200 kilometres north of Iqaluit (3,500 kilometres north of Winnipeg).

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. plans to spend $4 billion bringing Mary River into production, an amount that includes the construction of a 150-kilometre railway (the first ever in the Arctic) to move ore to a port yet to be built at Steensby Inlet.

Nine, 320-metre icebreaking freighters will then ferry the ore year-round to Europe for processing.

Mary River is expected to create 5,000 construction jobs, 950 permanent jobs and billions in royalties for Nunavut over the expected 21-year life of the mine.

"It's a whopper, a completely different kettle of fish," Prosh said.

The Baffinland project, along with Agnico-Eagle's two gold mines in Kivalliq region, are expected to boost employment in Nunavut by 10 per cent, Prosh said.

The economic impact of the mines will be so great that mining, which already has eclipsed government as the No. 1 generator of GDP, will push Nunavut forward.

"Overnight these mines will cause a big bump in GDP," Prosh said. "And there's a bunch more in the pipeline."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 29, 2012 A17

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Keri Latimer looks for beauty in the dark and the spaces between the notes

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 060710 The full moon rises above the prairie south of Winnipeg Monday evening.
  • A golfer looks for his ball in a water trap at John Blumberg Golf Course Friday afternoon as geese and goslings run for safety- See Joe Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge- Day 24– June 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should political leaders be highly visible on the frontlines of flood fights and other natural disasters?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google