A Cursory Look into the Global Interests to Secure Mining Opportunities in Greenland

U.S. President Donald Trump does not believe in global warming nor of the effects of climate change, yet has expressed interest in buying Greenland. Mainly because the polar ice caps that have been meling as a result of global warming, have made the largest landmass in the world, viable as a rich source of untapped natural resources that include rare earth minerals (REE).

In fact, Greenland a semi-autonomous territory belonging to the Kingdom of Denmark, albeit not richly populated, has for years been the object of mining expeditions. All of which are aimed at assessing the extent of the nation’s treasure trove of untapped natural resources unraveled by melted polar ice caps.

Trump’s proposition to buy Greenland has of course, been met with rejection. Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen blatantly called Trump’s notion as “absurd.” The Danish Prime Minister clearly stated that

Greenland is not for sale. Greenland is not Danish. “Greenland belongs to Greenland.”

Although Greenland is under the sovereignty of Denmark, an international law gives Greenlanders the right to self-determination. The law basically enumerates steps that the autonomous Danish territory has to take in order to become an independent country.

Local polls show that Greenland’s 56,000 inhabitants are largely in favor of independence. This only suggests that the people are not likely to vote favorably in a referendum that will decide being under the sovereign rule of another country like the United States. Apparently, Trump was not clearly briefed about such conditions before attempting to meet and broach the idea to the Danish Prime Minister.

Actually, the U.S. is not the only country that has shown great interest in acquiring mining rights in the Danish territory. The only difference is that unlike Trump, who intended to breeze into Prime Minister Frederiksen’s office with his “buy Greenland” proposition, the others were more diplomatic in their approach.

China and the EU Commission Have Made Bids to Enter into Profitable Ventures with Greenland

China has had the advantage of being ahead in establishing advanced mining projects in Greenland. The London Mining company may be a UK registered firm but in name only, because as reports have it, the company gets its funding and supervision mainly from China.

In fact in 2018, China extended a proposal to build new airports and set up mining facilities in Greenland, which apparently also met with counter offers and conditions that made the powerful Asian country withdraw the bid.

The European Union commission has also expressed interest in having a share of Greenland’s increasing strategic value. The EU Commission through it’s vice-president, Antonio Tajani, who is regarded as one of the most powerful EU politicians, cited Greenland as a hugely important source of natural resources and other opportunities.

Tajani admitted currently working very hard on advancing on the EU’s proposal with regard to Greenland’s raw materials, calling on their move as “raw material diplomacy.”

Of particular interest is the Kvanefjeld Plateau, located about five (5) miles outside of Narsaq. According to Greenland Minerals Ltd., an Australia-listed developer, the area holds a billion tons of mineral resources.

However, in order to actually establish mining operations in the region, Greenland’s mining industry must still obtain approval from the locals, which entails ensuring and instituting measures that will prevent any potential damage that mining activities could wrought on their untouched environment.