Blog: The US is using a mine in Greenland to counter China – by Mia Bennett (Eye On The Arctic – June 27, 2022)

The U.S. has offered $657 million to develop the world’s northernmost mine in Greenland to counter China. Is it worth it?

In a remote fjord in northwest Greenland, an Australian company is scouting beneath a permafrost-laden beach for zinc. The price of the silvery element, which is used to galvanize other metals to prevent rusting, has doubled since March 2010 to nearly $2 a pound in March 2022 following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

As a result, remote deposits of the commodity are now even more lucrative than they were 15 years ago, when Ironbark Zinc was formed in Perth, one of the world’s most remote cities, to tap resources in an extreme frontier.

Located at 83°N, just 750 kilometers from the North Pole, the Citronen Zinc-Lead project was forecast in late 2021 to generate $1.46 billion in revenue with zinc at $1.30 per pound. With the metal now close to $2 per pound, the mine would generate over $2 billion if prices hold over the mine’s estimated 20-year lifetime.

The Citronen Fjord lies within the Lower Palaeozoic and Neoproterozoic basins, which formed ~500 million to 1 billion years ago (geological map of Greenland). While the location’s deposits were originally discovered by Platinova A/S, a Canadian company, in 1993, only now are the forces necessary for their exploitation coming together.

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