The largest deposit of rare earth metals outside of China may remain untouched

The result of the recent elections in Greenland may seriously hinder the implementation of an ambitious project to develop the Kvanefjeld deposit in the south of the island, which is considered the largest source of rare earth metals outside of China.
The left-wing Inuit Ataqatigiit party, which opposes the development of the field, won the majority in the elections. Moreover, it is likely to form a government coalition with other opponents of this project.
The Australian-registered company Greenland Minerals has already spent more than $100 million on the preparation of the project, the total investment in which was estimated at $505 million. The former government of Greenland gave it preliminary permission to develop the field, which will now obviously be withdrawn. Trading of the company's shares on the ASX exchange has been suspended.
According to geological exploration data, the Kvanefjeld field contains more than 1 billion tons. t of ore, which would be enough for 37 years of work. The production capacity of the enterprise was estimated at 32 thousand tons of mixed oxides of rare earth elements per year, which would be about 13% of the current global production volumes, which amounted to about 243 thousand tons in 2020, according to the Chinese company Antaike. At the same time, the ore lies almost on the surface, and a fairly cheap technology can be used to obtain the concentrate. The mine would also produce zinc and uranium as by-products.
The main problem is that the deposit is located on a densely populated, by local standards, territory. And residents are not without reason afraid that the extraction of rare earth metals and the production of concentrate will lead to dangerous pollution of the environment.
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