Greenland Minerals is beginning arbitration proceedings against the governments of Greenland and Denmark over its stalled Kvanefjeld rare earth-uranium project, Kallanish reports.
Arbitration has been officially requested by subsidiary Greenland Minerals A/S, after discussions with the Greenland government failed to provide a remedy, the Australia-based company says. Last month, the government rejected the company’s exploitation license. The company is seeking a hearing before three arbitrators in Copenhagen, Denmark.
“We tried to find a constructive solution through dialogue with the government of Greenland but they made it clear that they would not move from their position that Act No. 20 applies to us and our exploitation license will not be granted,” says managing director Daniel Mamadou.
The company took the step in order to protect its investment in the project and to obtain the exploitation license that is needed to proceed. The company was earlier issued an exploration license and that should entitle it to an exploitation license, the company says. It is maintaining its application for an exploitation license and is seeking an independent legal opinion as to whether the 2021 uranium mining ban applies to its project.
If the law does apply to the project, the company will seek compensation for expropriation from the Greenland government, the company says. It says it has invested AUD 130 million ($97.14m) in the project in 10 years.
The government of Greenland has banned the mining of uranium which it defines as uranium content of 100 parts per million or greater in the total resource. That rule went into effect 2 December, 2021.
The Kvanefjeld project in southwest Greenland features ore reserve that contain 108m tonnes of 1.43% rare earth oxide, 0.26% zinc and 0.036% uranium oxide. The uranium oxide content is 266 ppm and would produce about 5% of project revenues, Kallanish reports.