Greenland rare-earth dig to seek final approval by 2016

One of Greenland’s most contentious mining projects hopes it will soon be ready to apply for a licence to begin operations.

The firm developing the Kuannersuit (Kvanefjeld) rare-earth mine in southern Greenland says it expects to be able to apply by early next year for a licence to begin production.

“The next step for us will be to sit down with the Greenlandic officials and review our documentation showing that were are ready for the next step of the licencing process,” said John Mair, the executive director of Greenland Minerals and Energy, which has been working to develop the site since 2007, The Arctic Journal reports.

In order to extract Kuannersuit’s rare earths, GME will also need to mine uranium. That worries area residents, not least sheep farmers who fear that dust from the open-pit mine will taint their grazing areas.