China’s dream of turning Greenland into a huge reserve of uranium collided with the will of the inhabitants of the cold Arctic island that caused a rise in smoke. This theme was central to this week’s early elections in which the Inuit Ataquit (Ia) environmentalists emerged victorious, and which highlighted in the program the opposition to the mining project. a second Egged SilentHe is set to become the next prime minister of Greenland, “People have spoken, and your trust has entrusted us with a great responsibility that we will strive for.” And it seems that this is precisely the position taken regarding the controversial plan in the south of the island to extract uranium and rare earths, which helped the party win consensus among the inhabitants of the huge island, which is more than seven times the size of Italy, but is inhabited by just over 56,000 Person. The program also promised to sign the Paris climate agreement.
In Kvanefjeld, a peninsula southwest of Greenland, just below the Arctic Circle, there are massive deposits of rare earths and uranium, an indispensable element in modern electronics, which they have been intent on working on for years. Some multinational companies are in the mining sector. Precisely because of these reservations, the country has become a geopolitical soccer stadium between America and China. Two years ago, former President Donald Trump proposed buying Greenland from Denmark in an effort to ensure the United States had access to the resources, but the offer never materialized (and it would not be accepted if it did). Last year, the Americans reopened the consulate in Nuuk, the capital, in an explicit attempt to counter Chinese and Russian influence. But the provincial government has also received unremitting efforts from China, which has obtained many licenses to search for mining bases on the island. Such as Times, Kvanefjeld will be owned by Greenland Minerals, an Australian mining company whose major shareholder is Shenghe Resources, a company close to the Chinese government. Specifically, Beijing’s idea was to continue digging in the area to obtain the maximum amount of extractable resources.
But the project is controversial for Greenlanders. In fact, a survey published in a local newspaper showed that 63 percent of the population opposes its implementation mainly due to concerns about the environmental risks of uranium mining. But the position of EA, as its leader Egideh made clear, was clear from the start. “We want to stop the project. From the voters’ judgment, especially in southern Greenland, where the mine is located, it is clear that they are against, “he said. “We have to listen to the people,” he added, stressing that the mine “will be canceled.” Egged also stressed that the main goals of his party are not only environmental, but there is also “to put the economy on a more flexible level so that the region can negotiate greater independence from Denmark.” This is because although the country is independent with regard to economic and social policies, it relies on Denmark for monetary policy, foreign affairs and defense.
Even so, the tug of war around the rare deposits in Greenland appears not to be over anytime soon. China dominates global production of rare earths, but is keen to consolidate its grip on overseas supplies. It is estimated that the Kvanefjeld project would have produced around 30,000 tons per year. In addition, Chinese geologists have identified Greenland’s “superior resource” sites, specifically those “urgently needed by China”. In fact, Chinese banks are helping to finance a large zinc mine in the Citronen Strait, on the island’s northern coast, as part of the “Ice Silk Road” strategy to obtain minerals from the Arctic.