Nunavut is the largest in area and the second-least populous of Canada's provinces and territories. It is becoming a "commodity extraction frontier", with uranium and iron ore resources. One of the world's most remote, sparsely settled regions, it has a population of 36,000, mostly Inuit, spread over an area of just over 1,750,000 km2.
Nunavut is also the world's northernmost permanently inhabited place. There is a story of defence of local and ethnic identity, a successful indigenous Land Claim, and there is also a story of mining in the area, particularly in recent years large scale iron mining by the Baffinland company . There was resistance to uranium mining in Baker Island (Qamani’tuaq) led by the NGO Nunavummiut Makitagunarningit (Makita) .
This is also one of the frontiers of climate change impacts, with the ice cover receding and melting (which hampers land communications).
Baffin Island in the territory of Nunavut, is the largest island in Canada and the fifth-largest island in the world, with over 500.000 sq.km.. Baffin Island has subzero temperatures, ice-blocked sea lanes, and a lack of conventional infrastructure. It is a true "commodity frontier", and there are local inhabitants, Inuits. Canadian and international mining companies are attracted by the huge iron ore deposits underneath a frozen landscape (where climate change is making the ice melt sooner very year, and new sea lanes are opening up) .
The Baffinland company shipped its first load of iron ore from Mary River via Milne Inlet in August 2015 as part of its “early” phase. Global prices of iron ore plummeted since the NIRB (the environmental regulations supervisory board) first granted the company its Mary River project certificate in 2012. For that reason, and because the iron ore market is a high-volume, low-margin business, the company changed its plans for Mary River considerably a number of times. The original proposal called for a $5-billion railway to be built from the mine south to Steensby Inlet on the Foxe Basin side of Baffin Island — a plan shelved by Baffinland due to its high price tag.
Instead, the company began transporting iron ore along a 100-kilometre tote road between the mine and Milne Inlet, near Eclipse Sound on Baffin’s northeast shore. This was done with enormous trucks that melted to ice, frightened the caribou, disrupted the hunting habit of the Inuits. And then in late 2014, Baffinland proposed significant changes to its project certificate, including:
• more than tripling truckloads of iron ore along the road to the Milne Inlet port;
• nearly tripling the output of iron ore from Milne Inlet, from 4.2-million tonnes to 12-million tonnes per year;
• increasing the shipping season from three or four months a year to ten months a year; and,
• building a second dock at Milne Inlet and a nearby tank farm capable of holding 140-million litres of fuel.
The NIRB decided in August 2015 that the proposed changes warranted a full public review, requiring Baffinland to submit a new Environmental Impact Statement.  By 2017 and 2018 Baffinlnd appears to be selling the mine to outside interests. The Inuit inhabitants through their councils have agreed to get royalties from the mine, there are however many latent conflicts, which have to do also with a trend among the Inuits to self-governance.
The NIRB (Nunavut Impact Review Board ) decided that the increase in production wished for by Baffin should be denied but Inuit pressure made it relent, and it together with the goverment said yes to an increase request from Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. of up to 6 million tons per year for 2019. . The pressure from the local Inuit representatives at QIA s is for jobs and royalties. The NIRB had said that Baffinland did not show how it would soften the impact of additional dust along the Milne Inlet tote road and the impact of additional marine shipping out of the Milne Inlet port, . Meanwhile, the review board has just begun to look at a separate and much bigger request from Baffinland, for the construction of a railway between Mary River and Milne Inlet, with a production increase of up to 12 million tonnes a year.. jobs and royalties will make of this area a "company town". Several foreign companies, incuding Arcelor Mittal and possibly Tata, have been trying to acquire the Baffinland assets. By 2020, the expansion of the mine is becoming very controversial.