The Department of Northern Affairs has rejected Baffinland's request to increase the limit of iron ore for shipping from 4.2 million tonnes to 6 million tonnes in Canada's Nunavut Territory.
Earlier reports had said the ministry was considering the request.
Northern Affairs Minister Daniel Vandal encouraged Baffinland to work through the process with the Nunavut Impact Review Board, CBC reported June 2.
The Nunavut Impact Review Board denied the request on May 16, citing environmental concerns.
Baffinland said that the minister for northern affairs has proposed that the minister, the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, and the company work together to "make the project viable for 2022 and into the foreseeable future," the company said on its Twitter account June 1.
Baffinland had earlier said that without the clearance to ship the extra tonnage, it would have to lay off 1,300 workers.
Baffinland had been working on the expansion project for the last four years to expand its Mary River project in Nunavut.
The expansion would increase production to 12 million tonnes per year, as well as build a railway from the mine to the port and add a second ore dock.