Uranium mining ban in Greenland halts rare earths project
The Kuannersuit Mine, one of the largest rare earth deposits in the world will not advance to development following the decision by Greenland’s parliament to ban uranium mining which will in turn block the Kuannersuit Mine.
Reuters reported that Kuannersuit, owned by Australian mining firm Greenland Minerals and located near the southern town of Narsaq, contains a large deposit of rare earth metals in addition to uranium.
The law, passed by parliament late on Nov. 10, was put forward by the Inuit Ataqatigiit party that came to power in April after campaigning to ban uranium mining and halt the Kuannersuit project, also known as Kvanefjeld.
The new law bans exploration of deposits with a uranium concentration higher than 100 parts per minute (ppm), which is considered very low-grade by the World Nuclear Association.
Greenland Minerals had been on track to gain final approval for the mine under the previous government, but locals fear it could harm the country's fragile environment if developed.
The law also includes the option of banning the exploration of other radioactive minerals such as thorium.
Demand for rare earth permanent magnets, key for electric vehicles (EVs) and wind turbines, is set to soar with greater efforts to cut carbon emissions. read more The United States has urged its allies to help increase supply.