"Analysis: Arctic Iron Mine Raises Concerns Over Ship Traffic"

"A truce called in a bidding war for Canada's Baffinland Iron Mines sets the stage for an environmental battle over the Arctic project and the impact of shipping the ore through ocean ice to world markets. ...

The company, which hopes to have the mine producing by 2014, is expected to file a draft environmental impact study with territorial and federal regulators in the next few weeks, government officials say.

While mining is not new to Canada's Far North, nothing has been attempted on the scale of Baffinland's Mary River project on Baffin Island, about 1,000 km (650 miles) northwest of Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut territory.

The mine is thought to have enough high-grade iron ore to meet Europe's needs for years. But plans to get the ore off the island include building the North America's northernmost railroad and bringing in a fleet of ships that can break the ice year-round."

Allan Dowd reports for Reuters January 19, 2011.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011