Although Greenland has no advanced mineral or metals production, it shows massive potential as a host for a number of minerals, including rare earth elements (REEs), and is being touted as a region to watch.
While the nation often remains under the radar with regard to political issues, it was under the media spotlight recently when Greenland's premier, Kuupik Kleist,
the BBC that he will not favor the European Union (EU) over China — or any other investor — when granting access to the country's prized rare earth deposits.
Kleist said that it would not be fair "to protect others' interests more than protecting, for instance, China's," adding that the country's resource sector will not be practicing any form of favoritism. He confirmed to journalists that he has discussed securing Greenland's minerals for Europe with an EU parliamentary committee, but said that the country is in no position to exclude any foreign investors unless there is a specific issue.
Investors often associate the country's close ties with Denmark as a sign that it may lean towards EU favoritism; however, it is important to remember that Greenland was one of the first territories to leave the EU back in 1985.
A project currently being developed by Greenland Minerals and Energy (ASX:
) is ained at underlining just how much potential the area holds. The company's focus, Kvanefjeld, is a large-scale delineated deposit recognized as one of the world's largest REE resources and is estimated to contain a favorable mix of elements, including yttrium, according to the company's website. A prefeasibility study estimates that the mine will be able to produce 43,729 tonnes of rare earth oxides and 3,895 tonnes of uranium a year across a 23-year lifespan
Based next to increasingly strategic shipping lanes, the North Atlantic island is attracting a lot of investor attention, especially as the melting of Arctic ice begins to pick up pace. While many are of the impression that Greenland is remote and logistically challenged, there are a number of benefits to its natural geography. It is strategically located between both North American and European markets, while Southern Greenland is located at a lower latitude than much of Alaska and Canada's Yukon and Northwest Territories — all of which are popular areas amongst mineral explorers and miners.