Use this link to download the full Q & A as a .pdf - all five sections in one file.
Business case issues
This Q & A is a practical tool to help people find information about rare earth elements and uranium in regards to the mining project on Kvanefjeld.
2) Business case issues
Q: Why have Greenland Minerals & Energy chosen to explore and develop Kvanefjeld?
A: The Kvanefjeld is one of the largest deposits of rare earth metals in the world. The ore in Kvanefjeld comprises multiple elements with commercial value, namely REEs uranium and zinc. By 2016 global consumption of REEs is forecast to increase to over 180,000 tpa, up by 50% from current levels, driven by significant market growth for many applications that rely on REEs.
Q: Is it possible to mine the rare earth minerals and leave the uranium behind?
A: No. It is a bit like fishing with a large net. Whilst you may be seeking one type of fish it is inevitable that the net will contain many species, not necessarily all wanted. As the main minerals at Kvanefjeld contain both rare earths and uranium it is not possible to selectively mine and process the rare earths and keep the uranium separate. The only way to separate the two products will be during the chemical processing of the mined ore.
Q: Does Greenland Minerals & Energy have enough professional experience to perform the complex mining project?
A: Greenland Minerals & Energy is an Australian based mining company with extensive experience in this field. The project team is made up of industry professionals from around the world and is supported by internationally recognised expert consultants. The development of the project will be managed in consultation with, and under the supervision of, both Greenlandic and Danish authorities.
Q: Why do you say, uranium is only a ‘by-product’, when GME will earn lots from uranium?
A: REEs are the primary products and the uranium, which is locked within the same minerals, must be removed prior to producing a commercial REE product. The potential annual production of REEs is more than 23,000 tonnes, being forty times more than the production of the uranium oxide by-product, being up to 500 tonnes per annum. It is important to remember that Kvanefjeld is a uranium deposit with a very low grade. Greenland Minerals and Energy estimates to mine 0.04 percent uranium per tonne compared to 1.3 percent REE per tonne.
Q: Who will be able to purchase uranium from Greenland Minerals & Energy?
A: The uranium can only be exported to countries that need uranium to produce clean energy in their nuclear power plants, and only if those countries have signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty controlled by the International Atomic Energy Agency, a United Nations organisation. It is anticipated that both the Greenlandic and Danish Government will be actively involved with GME in the setting up of export controls for uranium shipments.