Thursday, May 08, 2008

A Chance To Dig For Gold

....well not exactly, though I am tempted to bring a shovel - just in case. I was asked this morning if I would be interested in accompanying a group of 10 high school students out to Baffinland Iron Mines' Mary River Project toward the end of the month for a day. The future mine is located approximately 160km south of Pond Inlet.

Although, the ore body there has been known of since the early 1960's, the massive amount of capital required to realize a mine made development a pipe dream until now. Samples show the rock there to contain iron ore concentrations in the neighbourhood of 65-66%. The mine itself doesn't exist quite yet. Construction is slated to begin in 2010 and the mine will send out its first shipments to Europe beginning in May 2014 if things stay on schedule. The mine will then produce an expected 18 million tonnes of ore every year over the life of the mine, projected to be 25 years. As the project moves forward, the mine will look increasingly towards the surrounding communities to supply labour. The idea behind our upcoming excursion is that students will look toward a career in skilled trades once they finish high school.

I don't know any more details of the trip at this point but I'm really looking forward to getting out there. Last spring came an announcement to build a deep water port out at Nanisivik. That, plus the future iron mine out at Mary River, promises to make the North Baffin a hive of activity over the next few years.

Assuming the weather cooperates, I plan to take my camera along with me and - depending on the size of the aircraft - maybe a small shovel.


ariana said...

Hello Way Way Up!

Thanks much for reading and commenting on our blog--we've enjoyed writing it and we're glad to have you sharing your thoughts as well.

Hope that life up there continues to treat you--any news on the position in Iqaluit? We've both daydreamed about visiting there sometime in the future.

All the best-

Way Way Up said...

Thank your for your comment, Ariana. Iqaluit is quite the unique place. I got word the other day that my application didn't pan out but an offer would have really given a difficult decision to make. I may have an opportunity for another position there coming up in the near future though, such are the twists and turns of life.

Matt, Kara and Hunter said...

Bummer you didn't get it! It sounded like it would have been the perfect job for you! Good luck on other opportunities though!