The government of Greenland has opened a door to possible future uranium production by agreeing to include radioactive materials in an exploration licence covering the Kvanefjeld rare earth element project.
Exploration drilling at the Kvanefjeld deposit (Image: GME)
Australia-based exploration and development company Greenland Minerals and Energy (GME) announced that the government had formally amended its exploration licence covering the northern Ilimaussaq complex, which includes the Kvanefjeld resource and two emerging satellite deposits known as Zones 2 and 3. As Greenland's licensing framework gives the licensee the right to apply for an exploitation (mining) licence for all exploitable elements listed on the exploration licence, this now gives GME the right to apply to mine uranium along with all other exploitable elements.
GME released updated JORC-compliant resource figures for Kvanefjeld earlier this year, showing a contained metal inventory of 6.6 million tonnes of total rare earth oxides, 350 million pounds U3O8 (nearly 135,000 tU) and 3 billion pounds zinc (1.4 million tonnes). In 2010, the government issued GME with an evaluation permit allowing it to carry out comprehensive feasibility studies on a mineral deposit including uranium, and since then the company has been working towards preparing environmental and social impact assessments.
In an announcement to the Australian Stock Exchange, GME managing director Roderick McIllree said the company was "extremely pleased" with the latest licensing development and expects to lodge an application for the exploitation of Kvanefjeld at the end of 2012.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News