The mine and railway, together with associated port infrastructure, were being developed by Baffinland, a joint venture between ArcelorMittal and Iron Ore Holdings, which expected the mine to generate anannual output of around 18 million tonnes. However, in a recent letter to the Nunavut Impact Review Board dated January 10, Baffinland said challenging financial conditions had made it difficult to raise the necessary capital for the project.

Construction was due to start this year on a 149km heavy-haul railway linking Mary River with Steensby Inlet, but with an initial output now projected at only 3.5 million tonnes per year this has been deferred in favour of road transport.

Baffinland says the railway still features in its plans for the phased expansion of the mine, although no date is given for the start of construction.