It would also be the world’s second-biggest rare earths operation.
Greenland may soon start building the world’s fifth-largest uranium mine and second-biggest rare earths operation, which could fuel independence dreams in the island, an “autonomous administrative division” within Denmark since 2009.
The proposed open pit mine in the southern town of Kvanefjeld is expected to process over 100 million tonnes of ore in the coming decades, helping Greenland to diversified its economy. According to Danish Radio, it would also alleviate the island’s dependence on a locked Danish subsidy of 3.2 billion DKK (about $500 million), which constitutes about half of its budget.
But Greenland Minerals and Energy’s (ASX:GGG) project, which would have an annual processing capacity of 3 million tonnes of ore a year and employ at least 325 locals, is facing opposition from those who don’t want to see major landscape and environmental changes.
For a start, the proposed operation would dispose of its mining waste, consisting of crushed ore, water and chemicals used for extraction, in a nearby lake. Since that lake is not big enough, the company plans to build two extra dams to help contain the waste.
Based on the project’s description, nearly 21,000 tonnes of chemicals will be used each year to extract the sought-after resources.
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