With a population of less than 60,000, Greenland may appear to be a minor player on the world stage. Still, some of the powers are officially owned by Denmark in this week’s election. Reason: The battle for the most desirable ore and metal cutting mine.
According to preliminary results, the left-wing Inuit Atacadikit Party (IA) has won the election. The party, which opposed the mining project in the south of the country, received one-third of the vote. Party leader Ekde has already said he will stop the growth of the mine.
His IA party defeated the Social Democrats. The party has been in power since 1979. Incumbent Prime Minister Keilson is in favor of exploiting the mine, although there is disagreement within his party. Those internal matters led to the early elections being called yesterday.
The mine that played a key role in the election campaign is called Guaneffeld. Rare earth metals can be mined, for example, for batteries for smartphones, wind turbines and electric cars. But the extraction of those metals also releases the radioactive metal uranium.
“This makes my exploitation controversial,” NOS reporter Rolyn Cretten previously said on a radio show News and Company. “Protesters fear environmental damage, groundwater contamination and drinking water pollution. They are also concerned about mining waste stored in a reservoir.”
But there are many supporters: “They are thinking about the income and extra jobs that are badly needed in Greenland. The mining project will lead to new infrastructure, a port and a factory.”
The photo that comes with this tweet (from two years ago) shows the area around the mine:
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