Tanbreez Mining plans mining of large undeveloped deposit and processing plant in the U.S.
Greenland is home to enormous untapped deposits of rare earths. Mining company Tanbreez Mining plans to start mining the critical raw materials here as early as next year, geologist and CEO Greg Barnes told Wirtschaftswoche (German). Greenland’s Deputy Minister of Mines, Jörgen Hammeken-Holm, has confirmed the granting of a mining permit, he added.
Tanbreez Mining is a subsidiary of Australian company Rimbal Pty Ltd. and has held an exploration license for the Tanbreez deposit (PDF) in South Greenland since 2001. According to company founder Barnes, the deposit contains 19 million tons of rare earth oxide, including 30 percent of the coveted heavy rare earths such as dysprosium and terbium. These are needed for electric motors, among other things.
A processing plant to extract the rare earths from the rock will be built in the U.S. in the next few months, Barnes further stated. A production facility in Europe is also being considered. So far, such plants exist only in Russia and China, he said.
Greenland could play a growing role in the diversification of rare earth supply chains as more and more countries seek to become less dependent on the world market leader China. The Canadian company Neo Performance Materials is planning to develop the Sarfartoq deposit and could process the raw materials extracted there in Estonia in the future. The Australian mining company Energy Transition Minerals, on the other hand, is still in the process of obtaining a mining license (we reported).
Photo: iStock/Adrian Wojcik