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Spring in Qaqortoq

Social consequences of Kvanefjeld mining

When the engineering company Grontmij finalises its’ report regarding social effects from mining on Kvanefjeld, the population in the vicinity by Narsaq has been contributing to the exploration with negative and positive views. The special stakeholders, municipality, work sites, the NGO’s and the population have been invited to public meetings and workshops to discuss advantages and disadvantages when constructing a mine site close to Narsaq, the discussions have been significant sources to the development of scenarios to the project and the final picture of which scenarios are qualified.

In Narsaq, Qaqortoq and Nuuk Grontmij have performed a number of workshops, with presentation of the mining project with debates following the presentations regarding worries and potentials.

The Company have furthermore dived into a number of reports and data of figures describing existing conditions in Narsaq and surrounding area, i.e. the educational level, demography, infrastructure and health, this description is in technical language called for “baseline” examination and shall serve as a line of reference in order to be able to monitor changes through time and compare them to the baseline. Furthermore, Grontmij have made an alliance with local players, which go into specific areas, needed further clarification. Among others how the local population use the recreational areas in Narsaq.

SIA, which is an abbreviation of the English term for social impacts, Social Impacts Assessment, must shortly clarify impacts on the development of different positive and negative scenarios on mining operation on Kvanefjeld. The report will contain a description of different necessary constructions, in order for the project to be able to be implemented, as well as the report must contain proposals on, which positive direct impacts that will come to the local community, so they can gain the most from the project. As examples it shall be mentioned, that local- and national finances will be affected positively, since it must be anticipated, that an increased activity will entail a larger finance flow.

Grontmij must in compliance to international practice, guidelines compared with the demands, as outlined in the Mineral Act and guidelines from BMP for Social Impact Assessments examine all negative and positive circumstances and potentials to support the positive conditions. The Company must examine how the circumstances will affect the society and the local community, and among others the Company must map current health conditions.

Kirken i Narsaq, Sydgrønland

The church in Narsaq.

Grontmij must at the same time look into potential impacts to the population, if a large number of workforce is imported, how will this circumstance affect labour and livelihood locally and regionally. Will this mean a fall in the unemployment, and will this mean new and more education to the local population, how will the project affect pattern of residence locally, regionally and nationally, when we come to the construction- and operation phases? Does GME for example plans regarding education to the local population and development of the local industry? In this phase they will look heavily into the Study of Living Conditions already exist. But it will probably be necessary to look into conditions in other comparable countries.