| AUGUST 7, 2012
A huge iron ore development at Mary River on northern Baffin Island is about to change an ancient landscape. Baffinland Mary River is majority owned by ArcelorMittal, which was ranked 70th on the Fortune Global 500 largest corporations in 2012.
The project consists of a massive iron ore deposit at Mary River, which the Inuit of the region call Nuluuyaat, a landmark that has been used for generations to guide travel through North Baffin Island.
The deposit was discovered in the 1960s but left undeveloped until now because it was considered too remote and costly. However, the rapidly changing Arctic climate has changed the equation. The Mary River project will produce 18 million tonnes of ore per year, pure enough that no milling (and thus no tailings ponds) will be required on site. Instead, the ore will be shipped by a 150 kilometre-long railway to a new port being constructed at Steensby Inlet. It is the first railway built in Canada in generations; and it's the first time such a project has been attempted on permafrost.