Greenland Opens Up Rare Earth Mining Opportunities

Greenland Opens Up Rare Earth Mining OpportunitiesGreenland took a crucial step forward last week in encouraging mining investment in the remote Arctic landmass, by removing a ban on uranium mining.a

Mining companies of all stripes and commodities have long been interested in what lies beneath the mineral-rich island, which is a semi-autonomous territory of Denmark.

As Rare Earth Investing News reported last year, Greenland hosts enough rare earth elements (REEs) to supply a quarter of global demand over the next 50 years.aThe territory has also shown great potential as a host for a number of minerals, including gold, base metals andadiamonds. Its geology is similar to that of Canada and Northern Europe and includes Archaean craton (a layer of earth that is viewed as having high potential for REEs). Yet despite its geological appeal, Greenland remains relatively unexplored.

One of the issues impeding exploration, particularly for rare earths, has been aaban on the mining of uranium, which is often mixed with the minerals containing REEs. However last week, the 31-member Greenland parliament voted in favor ofaending the prohibition on mining radioactive materials such as uranium and thorium, after a legislative amendment was made in September, RT reported.aHowever, the country plans to maintain oversight to ensure uranium exports are in line with international norms.

Removing the ban is likely to interest foreign investors such as China, the largest consumer of metals, in Greenland's largely untapped mineral resources.

The territory raised a few eyebrows early this year when its premier, Kuupik Kleist, said it willanot favor the European Union over China, or any other investor, that wants access to its prized rare earth deposits — despite its close ties to Denmark and the EU.