Government rejects alternative proposal for rare earth mining in Kvanefjeld.
Another setback for Australian mining company Energy Transition Minerals (ETM): Greenland’s government has rejected its modified application for a mining license for its Kvanefjeld project, as the Australian-based mining company announced (PDF) Thursday.
Energy Transition, formerly Greenland Minerals, has been in a legal battle over its mining license since the newly elected Greenland government banned the development of deposits containing a certain concentration of the radioactive element uranium in late 2021. Last December, ETM submitted an alternative proposal (PDF) to mine only rare earths, zinc, and fluorspar at Kvanefjeld, removing the uranium as an impurity and storing it in the tailings facility.
The merits of this alternative proposal were not considered in the government’s draft decision, the company said; it is “disappointed” and rejects the government’s conclusions. ETM considers the two-week period it was given to comment as insufficient and wrote to the government asking for an extension.
Greenland’s Mineral Resources Could Drive Global Diversification
While the future of the Kvanefjeld deposit is still uncertain, another Australian mining company, Tanbreez Mining, plans to mine rare earths in Greenland as early as next year (we reported). Canadian company Neo Performance is also planning rare earth mining on the island. Greenland is said to have the largest untapped reserves of these critical commodities and could play a future role in diversifying global supply chains. If so, the country’s vast mineral resources would also become a significant new source of revenue. To date, fishing has been Greenland’s main economic driver, along with government subsidies from the mother country, Denmark.