Baffinland's partly to blame, but the NIRB is just not a flexible organization. If a mining company, with a fully approved project, plans a start-up mining scenerio with decreased initial production (and less environmental impact) then why are public hearings necessary? A 1 year plus project delay for a decreased project scope. Absurd.
Regardless of apples, oranges or any other fruit, no Nunavut mining project has gone through the NIRB environmental permitting process in under 3.75 years, and most take 4 to 5 years. That's a fact and that's a nightmare.
Even if AXI registered the Roche Bay c-zone mine today with the NIRB, it wouldn't be approved to begin construction until 2017 at the earliest. Add 2.5 years of construction time and you're looking at 2019 or 2020 for first production. This is the most optimistic scenario!