Greenland - Open for Uranium Exploration

- Edited By Chris Reed -

Greenland Minerals and Energy Ltd announced that an amendment has been made by the Government of Greenland to the Standard Terms for Exploration Licenses that allows for the inclusion of radioactive elements, such as uranium, as exploitable minerals for the purpose of thorough evaluation and reporting. The change comes after an ongoing dialogue between the Greenland government and Company representatives.

This critical development now provides a clear framework for the Company's Kvanefjeld multi-element project (rare earth elements, uranium and zinc) to proceed to development via the completion of a definitive feasibility study (bankable) conducted in close cooperation with the Greenland government and stakeholder groups.

The definitive feasibility study, inclusive of environmental and social impact assessments, along with technical and economic studies, will generate the necessary information to determine development parameters for Kvanefjeld.

The study will assess the development of a multi-element mining operation to produce REE's, U and Zn. 

Greenland Minerals and Energy Ltd Managing Director, Mr. Roderick McIllree, said this important amendment to the regulations was made in recognition of the strategic importance that the Kvanefjeld multi-element project will play in the development of the mining industry in Greenland.

"This important development has resulted from the government's recognition of the unique potential of the Kvanefjeld project, and the opportunity it represents to Greenland," Mr. McIllree said.

"Significantly, what we believe to be the world's most strategically important mineral project can now move through the next phase of development. This confirms that the government of Greenland is committed to working with companies to develop a strong and well-regulated minerals industry in Greenland," he added.

New Amendment to the Standard Terms for Exploration Licenses for Minerals

The exploration and mining of minerals in Greenland is governed by the Mineral Resources Act that was approved by Greenland's parliament in December 2009. Under the Act, the Greenland Government has the right to issue exploration and exploitation licenses. The exploration license conditions are dictated by the Standard Terms for Exploration Licenses for Minerals in Greenland.

The new amendment to the standard terms allows the Bureau of Minerals and Petroleum (BMP) to approve that comprehensive feasibility studies can be undertaken on mineral projects that include radioactive elements as exploitable minerals. Within this framework, projects are considered on a case-by-case basis, at the government's discretion. GMEL has lodged an application under these new regulations that has been approved by the BMP.

Path to an Exploitation License

Currently, under the Mineral Resources Act an application for an exploitation license is lodged following the completion of a definitive feasibility study. A licensee who has discovered and delimited a commercially exploitable deposit that does not contain radioactive elements above background concentrations, and who has otherwise met the terms of the license, is automatically entitled to be granted an exploitation license.

Following the introduction of the new amendment, the issuance of an exploitation license for a project that contains radioactive elements would depend primarily on the outcomes of comprehensive feasibility studies, with an emphasis on health, safety and the environment. In the case of Kvanefjeld, if the government is satisfied that all health, safety and environmental requirements can be met, then an exploitation license can be issued to develop an operation that will produce REEs, uranium and zinc. 

Significantly, in addition to the new amendments that allow for project evaluation on a case-by-case basis, a comprehensive review into the exploration and exploitation of radioactive elements was announced on June 28th by the Minister for Industry and Raw Materials Mr Ove Karl Berthelsen. The review process involves the generation of comprehensive information by groups including the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), the National Environmental Institute of Denmark (NERI), the Risø National Laboratory, and the Ray Hygienic Institute.

This information will then to be distributed to the public through print, television and radio media in the coming months. In addition, a delegation from the Greenland government is scheduled to visit Ottawa to learn about the regulatory framework of uranium mining in Canada, as well as visiting a uranium mine in Saskatchewan, one of the world's most sophisticated mining jurisdictions, to learn more about the exploration and mining of radioactive elements.

Background

Greenland Minerals and Energy Ltd is a mineral exploration and development company operating in southern Greenland. The Company is primarily focused on advancing the Kvanefjeld multi-element project (rare earth elements, zinc, and uranium) toward development.

Kvanefjeld is located within the Company's license over the northern Ilimaussaq Intrusive Complex; a unique geological entity that is highly prospective for specialty metals. A 457 million tonne JORC-compliant resource has already been defined at Kvanefjeld (see Appendix 1), which represents just a small percentage the broader Ilimaussaq ore field.

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