Stopping Dust for Baffinland Iron Mines

Baffinland Mary River Mine Aerial

Source: Baffinland


Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. is a Canadian mining company operating the Mary River iron ore mine in the Qikiqtani region of North Baffin, Nunavut, Canada. The Mary River mine site is one of the most northern mines in the world. It is also one of the richest iron ore deposits discovered anywhere to date. Nunavut’s high-grade iron ore is a critical mineral in the green economic/energy transition. It is ideal for producing ‘green steel’ – steel that is produced using environmentally friendly and sustainable methods – since the quality of the iron ore allows it to be shipped directly, eliminating any waste, tailings or need for processing.

In 2019, the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) released a report on Baffinland’s Mary River Mine. The focus of the report was to ascertain whether Baffinland was doing enough to reduce the environmental and social impact of its operations.

This article will cover:

  • the challenges experienced on the mine’s haul roads
  • how Cypher’s products aligned with the mine’s needs
  • the project scope
  • Cypher Green Roads project at Pond Inlet


Baffinland Mary River Iron Mine and the Results of the NIRB Report

In the report released by NIRB in 2019, it stated that dust from the iron ore stockpiles was settling on the nearby sea ice. A request was made to Baffinland to control the dust to prevent further damage.

Haul truck on road at Baffinland iron mines

A haul truck is seen driving on haul road at Baffinland Iron Ore Mine with trailing ore dust.

After taking action to reduce dust emissions near the crusher, dust was still being reported as a problem in May 2020. Hunters from nearby Pond Inlet claimed that the dust emissions were discolouring the land, making it difficult for wildlife and campers to access clean water. In addition, the area was classified as environmentally-sensitive with communities around the mine situated on pristine, untouched land with minimal infrastructure, making its preservation that much more critical.

As with any mining operation, safety, productivity, OPEX and commitment to CSR, (especially to the Inuit Societal Values in this case), are key elements to a mine’s success so Baffinland set off to find an environmental solution for their dust issue.


An Environmental Dust Control Solution for an Environmentally Sensitive Area

Enter Cypher Environmental and our environmental dust suppression product, DUST/BLOKR®.

With DUST/BLOKR®, not only was the mine able to eliminate fugitive dust, they were also able to use a product that was aligned with their ESG commitments. DUST/BLOKR® is an environmentally friendly, non-toxic, non-corrosive, organic and biodegradable product. Not only does it produce results that are comparable to conventional dust control solutions like chlorides and road salts with one application, it does so without leaving an impact on the environment, adverse or otherwise.

Product being applied at Baffinland iron mine site

Product being applied at Baffinland Iron Ore Mine Site.

After a successful trial in 2018, Baffinland proceeded with treatment of their main tote road in 2020. The 100 km stretch of tote road was considered a lifeline to the operation as it connected the mine site to the Milne Port, located north of the mine site. It was also the only access point in and out of the mine so any disruptions would impede the shipment of ore being shipped out to markets, thus directly impacting productivity.

team members standing at Baffinland iron mine site

Baffinland iron mine site

Baffinland Iron Mine Site

Less fugitive ore dust will also improve visibility and safety on the road, creating conditions for faster travel and a more productive mine site. Additionally, Baffinland can count on saved time and money, increased tire life and significantly less road maintenance. 

Taking a Closer Look at the Environmental and Social Impact

We are happy to collaborate with companies such as Baffinland. These partnerships have allowed us to amplify our impact in reducing the use of harmful road salts. The order of nearly 2 million litres of DUST/BLOKR® for the Mary River mine qualified for the Cypher Green Roads program and together, we set out to make a difference for the community of Pond Inlet. It was our first ESG/Cypher Green Roads project of a considerable scale! We were able to donate 38 totes of DUST/BLOKR® to Pond Inlet, to help the community combat dust. Learn more about the Pond Inlet Cypher Green Roads Project.

Through the Cypher Green Roads project, we have been able to spread the reach of our products and bring cleantech solutions to communities that would otherwise not have had access. We are grateful to partners like Baffinland and Nunavut Sealink and Supply Inc. (NSSI), an Inuit majority-owned company based in Nunavut that enabled us to deliver the 38 totes of product at no cost to the community.

For more information on our environmentally friendly road management solutions or learn more about this project, please feel free to contact us here.







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