Iqaluit, Nunavut – October 3, 2018 – The Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) and Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. announced details about the amended agreement to the Mary River Inuit Impact Benefit Agreement (IIBA).
“I’m pleased with the benefits we have gained for Qikiqtani Inuit through the renegotiation of the Mary River IIBA,” says QIA President, P.J. Akeeagok, “our goal was to increase training and employment opportunities and we have done that and much more.”
Article 22.2 of the IIBA between Baffinland and QIA, states that an IIBA review takes place every three years for potential amendments and improvements to the agreement. Based on this review, which took place this year, certain articles in the IIBA were renegotiated.
This past April QIA’s team led by Eva Aariak, IIBA Chief Negotiator for the Qikiqtani Inuit Association’s Mary River Project visited communities impacted by the mine to gather community input. The recommendations and statements received during these visits were used to develop QIA’s overall negotiation strategy.
“I am proud that we have work hard to achieve improvements to the IIBA based upon the direction we received from Inuit,” says Eva Aariak, “I am also thankful for the attention Baffinland provided to work through key topics in a timely and collaborative fashion.”
As directed by the five impacted communities, QIA’s focus during the renegotiation was on training and education and employment and contracting.
The amended IIBA includes numerous improved benefits in these areas to ensure that more Inuit can take advantage of jobs in the mining sector.
- $10 million toward the design and construction of a regional training centre in Pond Inlet
- A significantly expanded Inuit training budget
- $2.25 million per year from 2018-2021
- $1.5 million on the delivery of training to Inuit from 2021-2031
- Marine Equipment Program ($300,000/vessel)
- Every three years Baffinland will purchase and transfer ownership of a research vessel to Pond Inlet, Arctic Bay, Clyde River, Igloolik and Hall Beach
- The goal is that within 12-years each community will have received a research vessel
- Monitoring Fund ($200,000/year)
- This fund is specific to Pond Inlet and will support independent monitoring of the project. The results from this work will be used to support changes to reduce or avoid project impacts.
Once signed, the Amended Agreement will replace the Mary River IIBA, originally signed in September 2013.
QIA looks forwards to continuing to partner with Baffinland on joint projects that benefit Inuit.
The Amended Agreement is one of many outcomes associated with the “Project Stabilization Approach” developed between QIA and Baffinland in mid-2018. This approach placed priority on addressing Inuit interest and historical matters over future related mine plans.
Other outcomes include reconciliation of materials used to develop the tote road, improving community engagement, modifying the existing royalty agreement, and review of the 2018 Production Increase Application. The next joint priority between the parties is completion of the IIBA Implementation Guide, and, implementation of the Water Compensation Agreement.
Photo caption: Qikiqtani Inuit Association President, P.J. Akeeagok, pictured with Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. President and CEO Brian Penney following the announcement about the Amended Mary River Project Inuit Impact Benefit Agreement.
The Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA), is a not-for-profit society which represents approximately 14,000 Inuit in the Qikiqtani (Baffin) Region of Nunavut, which includes 13 communities from Grise Fiord in the High Arctic down to Sanikiluaq (Belcher Island). QIA’s mission is to safeguard, administer and advance the rights and benefits of the Qikiqtani Inuit.
For more information, please contact:
Sima Sahar Zerehi,
Director of Communications,
Qikiqtani Inuit Association