Stopping Dust for Baffinland Iron Mines

Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation

After a successful demonstration road application of DUST/BLOKR®® in 2018, this year Cypher Environmental started working with Baffinland Iron Mines on one of our largest projects to date. Currently, we have shipped out almost 2 million litres of DUST/BLOKR® to Baffinland.

Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation produces the highest grade of direct shipping ore in the world on Baffin Island in Nunavut. Their vision is to safely and efficiently identify and develop resources within Baffin Island, unlocking their wealth-generating potential, with a mission to become the lowest-cost producer of high-grade iron ore in the world. 

The Issue

In 2019, the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) released a report on Baffinland’s Mary River mine on north Baffin Island. This report determines if the company is doing what’s possible to reduce the impact of its operation on the environment and people. The report resulted in a request to ensure dust from its iron ore stockpiles doesn’t end up settling on nearby sea ice. It also stated that there has been a decrease in “emission” of dust near the crusher, thanks to “dust control technology.”

In May of this year, dust was still an issue for the local communities. Hunters from Pond Inlet said dust from the Mary River Mine was discolouring the land, making it hard to get clean water for animals and campers. 

Haul truck on road at Baffinland iron mines

The communities around the mine are located on pristine land with not a lot of infrastructure due to the towns being so small. It’s an environmentally-sensitive area, so minimizing any environmental footprint is extremely important. 

As with any mine operation, safety, productivity, operational expenses, and maintaining a positive relationship with the communities are key elements for a successful workflow. 

Baffinland needed an environmentally-friendly solution to solve their dust issues.

The Solution

Baffinland’s vision, mission and values all align with Inuit Societal Values, which has a large focus on keeping the environment as natural as possible.

Cypher Environmental’s DUST/BLOKR® technology creates a more dense, smooth road while eliminating dust emissions. In-turn, companies save time and money on road maintenance, tire life and other operational expenses.

Product being applied at Baffinland iron mine site

Our product offers a totally environmentally-friendly solution to the dust issues the community is dealing with. DUST/BLOKR® is a greener, higher performance alternative to popular dust control solutions like chlorides and road salts.

Cypher is currently working to finish a 100km stretch of road, known as the tote road. As the bulk of all materials and people that arrive at the mine travel down the tote road, it generates a lot of dust. 

The desired end result is to significantly reduce dust generated from the tote road, minimizing Baffinland’s environmental footprint. Less 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. 

The tote road is the lifeline of the mine, as it is the only access in and out of the mine — it’s an honour to have been chosen as the solution provider for such a vital piece of the mine.

Cypher Environmental recently received Boeing certification that allows our product to safely be applied to runways. All of our products have proven to not be harmful to aircraft in any way. Since DUST/BLOKR® has worked so well for the tote road, Baffinland has ordered enough product to solve their other road issues. We are looking forward to treating the airstrip and haul roads next year.

team members standing at Baffinland iron mine site

Environmental Social Governance

One of the benefits of expanding our Environmental Social Governance (ESG) plan is working with other large companies who are committed to helping the environment. This allows our combined forces to do more for the planet, and the local communities where we are working. Working with Baffinland is our first big ESG project. We’re excited that we are able to bring these positive changes to action. 

Our tagline to “always do what’s right” coincides perfectly with their integrity statement to “do what is right, not what is easy.” Baffinland is relentless in challenging themselves and others to achieve high performance and create lasting socio-economic impacts in all that they do. They focus on improving every day and delivering on commitments. 

This project resulted in Cypher Environmental donating 38 totes of DUST/BLOKR® back to the Hamlet of Pond Inlet. Typically, this will treat 10km of road. This will reduce the environmental impact of the community itself, not just the mine. We are applying the same technology to the town that we applied to the mine. 

Baffinland iron mine site

We are also working with another business who wants to make a positive impact on the community. Nunavut Sealink and Supply Inc. (NSSI), is an Inuit majority-owned Nunavut based company, who shipped the 38 totes of DUST/BLOKR® at no cost to Pond Inlet. 

If you are interested in getting more information on our environmentally-friendly products, or our ESG program, contact us here.


Read more on this project from CBC.

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