TROMSOE, NORWAY – Jan 26 Greenland’s push to extract rare earth metals will remain a contentious political issue for years to come because the mining also produces uranium as a by-product, the nation’s finance minister told Reuters.
Greenland has been opening up to foreign companies with hopes that its vast resources in metals and minerals, including rare earths, would help finance its ambition to become independent from former colonial master Denmark.
Greenland banned uranium mining decades ago due to its potential use in nuclear weapons but lifted it in 2013 and the government’s majority in parliament supports the new policy.
The main opposition party, which narrowly missed winning a general election in November 2014, wants to re-impose the ban and is still bitter at the 2013 decision which was passed in parliament by the slimmest of majorities with barely a debate.
This uncertainty has been criticised in the past by foreign investors seeking regulatory stability on the issue.
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