Why the world finds itself in a Greenland ‘gold rush’ – by Isabeau van Halm (Energy Monitor – July 3, 2023)


Melting ice in Greenland is exposing the country’s critical mineral resources. Mining companies, governments and billionaires are all eyeing the largely underexplored wealth.

Ice loss from Greenland hit a new record this year. The latest report from the European Space Agency shows that ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica has increased fivefold since the 1990s due to climate change. The receding ice is exposing Greenland’s rich mineral resources. Still largely unexplored, companies and governments are now eyeing mining in Greenland, including for the critical minerals needed for the energy transition.

The Artic has long been of geopolitical significance. Areas with vast mineral deposits can be found in north-east Asia, and northern Canada has large reserves of nickel, copper, cobalt and rare earths, among others. Both Russia and China are building nuclear-powered icebreaker ships that are able to mine the Arctic. In 2019, former US President Donald Trump said he wanted to buy Greenland.

An exploration in Greenland’s Nuussuaq region made headlines in 2021 after KoBold Metals announced a joint venture with Greenland-centred mining company Bluejay Mining for the Disko-Nuussuaq project, which will primarily focus on mining nickel, copper, platinum and cobalt. The venture is backed by some of the world’s richest people including Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Michael Bloomberg.

According to Bluejay Mining, the project has the potential to rival the Norilsk-Talnakh mine in Siberia. “There is a lot of interest around Disko-Nussuaaq due to the geological settings,” says Bo Møller Stensgaard, CEO of Bluejay Mining. “It is comparable with the Norilsk district, which is one of the largest nickel and copper producers in the world.”

For the rest of this article: https://www.energymonitor.ai/sectors/industry/why-the-world-finds-itself-in-a-greenland-mining-rush/