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Home* News and Stories → Green­land: ban on ura­ni­um mining lifted

Green­land: ban on ura­ni­um mining lifted

Green­land had ban­ned ura­ni­um mining poli­ti­cal­ly in 1988. The fear of envi­ron­men­tal dama­ge and awa­reness that an inta­ct envi­ron­ment were the base of the Green­land com­mu­ni­ty were too lar­ge.

Poten­ti­al ura­ni­um mining play­ed a major role in the elec­tions for the par­lia­ment in Nuuk of March 12, 2013. The new prime minis­ter Ale­qa Ham­mond sup­ports mining. Calls for a wide public deba­te or a refe­ren­dum were not heard. After a 5-hour-deba­te, the par­lia­ment of Green­land lifted the ban on Octo­ber 24. From this day onwards, ura­ni­um mining in Green­land is not only a theo­re­ti­cal opti­on, but a future pro­spect. For examp­le, the Aus­tra­li­an-based com­pa­ny Green­land Mine­rals and Ener­gy Ltd. will have ope­ned some bot­t­le of cham­pa­gne after the par­lia­ment decisi­on. They are sit­ting on the Kva­n­ef­jeld-claim in sou­thwest Green­land, which is belie­ved to be amongst the top 10 sites for rare earths in the world. It also inclu­des ura­ni­um, which had accord­in­gly been a poli­ti­cal obsta­cle also for mining rare earths.

Prime minis­ter Ham­mond was quo­ted say­ing “We can’t stand by as unem­ploy­ment rises and the cost of living goes up, while our eco­no­my remains sta­gnant. We need to over­turn the ban now”. Cri­tics claim that the­re is a real risk of the bene­fits going to for­eign mining com­pa­nies who might also import cheap labour from Asi­an coun­tries rather than crea­ting jobs for Green­lan­ders while lea­ving Green­lan­ders main­ly with big-sca­le envi­ron­men­tal dama­ge to deal with on the long term.

The­re has alrea­dy been mining at a num­ber of sites in Green­land, such as the marble/lead/zinc mine of Maar­moo­ri­lik near Uum­anaaq, west Green­land. The future will also see ura­ni­um mining in Green­land.


Source: Nun­atsia­qOn­line

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last modification: 2014-07-01 · copyright: Rolf Stange