Baffinland has submitted an emergency request for an order from the Ministry of Northern Affairs to allow the company to ship 6 million tonnes of iron ore from its Mary River mine in Nunavut.
"Should the order not be granted, once production reaches 4.2 million tonnes, the company will be required to suspend operations for the balance of 2022," the company said in a statement on May 26.
Earlier this month, the Nunavut Impact Review Board rejected Baffinland's plans for expansion, citing environmental concerns.
In the May 26 statement, Baffinland said it would need to terminate more than 1,300 employees if the emergency order is not granted.
"Baffinland is requesting that the minister choose to exercise his power to extend the approval until December 31, 2022," the company said in the statement.
However, Northern Affairs Minister Daniel Vandal said on May 27 that he has no power to increase the company's shipping limit, Nunatsiaq.com reported him as saying.
"We encourage project proponents to follow the process and work collaboratively with partners," spokesman Ryan Cotter told the newspaper via email.
"All partners want certainty in that process and this should be no different."