Cracking open Greenland’s booming ruby mine – by Julien Bouissou (Le Monde – August 3, 2022)

Located near the Arctic Circle, the Aappaluttoq deposit reflects a growing industry. For the Norwegian family business LNS, which operates the site, the financial challenge is far from being conquered.

In Air Greenland’s small twin-propeller plane, which had just hopped across the icy airport runway of Nuuk, Greenland’s capital, the 20 or so passengers could finally catch their breath. In the icy month of February, where temperatures could drop to -25°C, it was difficult to see where the runway began and where the frozen waters of the Davis Strait ended.

“If he had landed one meter too soon, we would have all ended up like ice cubes in the sea,” a passenger said casually, before zipping up his coat, putting on his hat and getting off the plane.

Outside, the sky was so white that it seemed to have slipped down over the snow-covered city. Only a few colored houses, sitting like matchboxes along the steep coast, break the monotony of the landscape. The only one to brave the cold is the statue of Hans Egede, a Danish Lutheran missionary who colonized Greenland in the 18th century using forced conversions.

Standing on top of a hill, he looks out to sea, proud and unperturbed, with his chest thrust out and his head held high. Greenlanders, annoyed to see the first Danish settler celebrated in such a way, regularly cover him with red paint. The island, as vast as Western Europe, is still part of the Kingdom of Denmark, even if it obtained reinforced autonomy in 2009.

For the rest of this article: