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GME presents plan for simpler mining
Many local jobs, but fewer summoned experts and less chemistry
In a series of public meetings across the South Greenland Greenland Minerals and Energy A/S presented an alternative plan for the establishment and operation of a mine at Kvanefjeld near Narsaq: Mining, crushing and concentrating the ore is done locally, while the more complex processes take place outside Greenland. The mine will create a large number of jobs for both unskilled and skilled workers, but the need for highly specialized technicians will be less.
Previously GME planned that also the further processes would take place near the mine, so that the company could export rare earth metals and uranium oxide (yellowcake) from Narsaq as products. Now, GME has identified the option of shipping a mineral concentrate from Greenland and leave the chemical processing to be conducted in large plants abroad, that already have the necessary capacity and expertise. It also removes the requirement of establishing large acid plants in Greenland, and managing the complex chemical processes. avoids the challenge of the large quantities of acid and other chemicals used in the manufacture of the end products.
A mine at Kvanefjeld will create many Greenlandic jobs
A ship call a month
Both development scenarios have been presented to stakeholders in Greenland, and the final configuration is dependent on discussions with Greenland regulatory bodies and the government.
In total, 282,000 tonnes of mineral concentrate will be produced per annum. Minor amount of zinc concentrate (13,000 tpa) and fluorspar (16,000 tpa) are also produced by the Concentrator as byproducts. The mineral concentrate will be shipped from the new port, built in connection with mine. It will take about a call a month of a large ship .
Many new jobs
With the revised plan GME expects to hire up to 218 local workers when the mine is in operation, mostly from the towns and settlements in southern Greenland, plus approximately 165 specialists from abroad. It is estimated that each job in the mine will create an additional full time job at local suppliers, in service industries and trade, etc.
Construction of the mine will require approximately 1,000 employees and GME plans as much as possible to engage local suppliers and employees in the construction project.
When the mine is in operation, it will be one of the world's largest producer of rare earths outside of China. The mine life is at least 50 years and it will have a turnover of about 2 billion Danish kroner (DKK) annually. GME expects to pay about DKK 300 million annually in tax to the Treasury, in addition to the taxation of employees and subcontractors.
GME expects to employ more than 200 local workers at Kvanefjeld.
Mine can open in 2017
Subject to a decision in principle in Inatsisartut to abolish zero tolerance for uranium, GME prepares to apply for a mining permit at Kvanefjeld in 2014. At the same time the reports on respective social and environmental impacts of the mine will be ready.
After an extensive public review and approval process supervised by the Bureau of Minerals and Petroleum, and Government of Greenland, GME expects to commence construction of the mine in 2015. The construction phase will last two years, after which the mine at Kvanefjeld is to begin production in 2017.