Kuannersuit/Kvanefjeld New mining legislation makes it easier to protect Kvanefjeld
Copenhagen, January 9th 2023
New mining legislation makes it easier to protect Kvanefjeld
The Greenlandic government, Naalakkersuisut, has put forward proposals for amendments to Greenland’s mining legislation and NOAH Friends of the Earth Denmark has submitted a position paper which is positive about the amendments, but also suggests further improvements.
"It is a good thing that it will now be easier for Naalakkersuisut to protect areas of special geological interest”, says Palle Bendsen from NOAH’s Uranium Group. “NOAH recommends that the authorities use this new provision to facilitate an expansion of the Kujataa UNESCO World Heritage Site in Southern Greenland to include the Narsaq Peninsula, so that Kvanefjeld can obtain world heritage status. Unfortunately, the provision cannot be applied in places that are covered by mining licenses. It is therefore regrettable that the licensee, an Australian mining company, just had its exploration license renewed for three years”.
Another step forward is that individuals who own or have controlling influence in mining companies that are license holders must not have been fined or otherwise punished or sanctioned within the last four years for bribery, fraud, cartel activity, organised crime, acts of terrorism or criminal offenses related to terrorist activity plus a number of other crimes. Since 2013, NOAH and other environmental organisations and politicians in Greenland and Denmark have called for the owners of the Australian mining company, Greenland Minerals Ltd., which recently changed its name to Energy Transition Minerals, and holds the exploration license for Kvanefjeld, to be further investigated.
“It is high time that the ownership of Energy Transition Minerals is thoroughly investigated”, says Niels Henrik Hooge from NOAH’s Uranium Group. “Time and time again, the company has interfered in the Kvanefjeld project’s licensing process and together with Greenlandic and Australian partners, NOAH has documented that the company has no intention of respecting Greenland’s uranium ban. Furthermore, Danish authorities should take a closer look at the attempt by journalists from TV 2 to influence the outcome of Greenland’s general and municipality elections shortly before the reinstatement of the ban – an attempt that may very well have influenced the distribution of mandates in the Greenlandic Parliament and the subsequent composition of the two government coalitions. The fact that TV 2 was allowed to exonerate itself is untenable. Demands for an investigation have been raised by leading Greenlandic politicians and it could be argued that the security of the Greenlandic state is at stake when the integrity of its parliamentary and municipality elections is undermined”.
NOAH Friends of the Earth Denmark: Niels Henrik Hooge, Tel.: +45 21 83 79 94, Email: nielshenrik(at)noah.dk, Palle Bendsen, Tel.: +45 30 13 76 95, Email: pnb(at)ydun.net and Hans Pedersen, Tel.: +45 51 92 24 14, Email: agentgreen438(at)gmail.com
Foto: Narsaq vue aérienne, NASA, Wikimedia Commons