Greenpeace picket ArcelorMittal over mine expansion


Activists carried banners reading “ArcelorMittal: Respect Indigenous Rights” and “Respect Inuit Or Leave”. The latter banner was designed by Christi Belcourt, an Indigenous artist living and working in Canada. Photo: Greenpeace 

Greenpeace activists showed solidarity with Inuit communities impacted by mining in the Canadian Arctic when they picketed ArcelorMittal’s headquarters in Luxembourg on Wednesday.

The protestors claim that the Mary River iron mine, which is operated by Baffinland, a company co-owned by ArcelorMittal, harms marine mammals, caribou calving grounds and traditional lands of the Inuit communities.

According to Greenpeace Luxembourg, Baffinland is seeking to expand production from 6 to 12 million tonnes per year, and is proposing a 100km railway to carry iron ore to a port at Milne Inlet, Nunavut, crossing an important caribou migration route, a proposal that is undergoing regulatory review.

“We may be a long way from Canada, but the decisions of Luxembourg-based steel giant ArcelorMittal directly impact the Canadian ecosystem Inuit hunters depend upon for survival,” said Myrna Koster, climate justice campaigner at Greenpeace Luxembourg. “As a member of the 'ResponsibleSteel' initiative, we are calling on ArcelorMittal to respect the interests of the Inuit hunters and refuse or reduce future investment in and expansion of the Baffinland project.” 

Greenpeace Luxembourg is calling on the Luxembourg government, as a minority shareholder in ArcelorMittal, to oppose the expansion of the Mary River Iron Mine on Baffin Island.