Mary River Project Shipping Facility

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Port Development in Harsh Arctic Conditions

The Mary River Project is located on the northern Baffin Island within the Canadian Arctic Circle. The project initially consisted of shipping 18 Mt/y of iron ore, with provision to expand to 30 Mt/y. The scope of work included the construction of the mine site, over 100 km of rail, and the port facilities at Steensby Inlet.

Baffinland Iron Ore Mines Corporation awarded an AMEC-led team the EPCM contract for this $4 billion project.

As part of the AMEC team, Ausenco was responsible for the port facilities which entailed:

  • A triple rotary rail car dumper pit
  • Screening station
  • Stockyard
  • Stackers and reclaimers
  • Conveyors and transfers
  • Travelling shiploader
  • Iron ore export dock
  • Freight dock
  • Tug berths
  • Offshore sewerage outfall
  • Conveyor and access bridge to Steensby Island.

Major challenges to the project included extremely cold temperatures, over 70 km of landfast two metre thick sea ice and a very short construction season.

To resist the substantial ice loads, and to speed up construction, the marine foundations for the bridge and docks used caisson type structures.

The mine and port are now fully operational; Baffinland shipped its first iron ore consignment of 53,624 tonnes to Nordenham, Germany in August 2015.

Project details

Coastal engineering, Offshore structures
Iron ore
Baffin Island, Nunavit, Canada
Business line
Process Infrastructure, Marine and Offshore
Baffinland Iron Ore Mines Corporation (through AMEC)
Solution phase
Evaluate (Conceptual and preliminary detailed design)
Project value
$4 billion, CAD
Studies and technical solutions