Billionaire group invests into mining project in Greenland for e-transportation | Polarjournal
The mountains on the coast of West Greenland seem so far away. But thanks to climate change, they are getting closer for mining projects. (Photo: Dr Michael Wenger)

The news about mining in Greenland does not stop, because the island offers a large supply of various coveted raw materials. And due to climate change, which is having a very strong effect in Greenland, areas are becoming more accessible for mining. In particular, raw materials required in connection with the development and use of e-transport are highly sought after by investors. A U.S. startup company from California, backed by several U.S. billionaires, wants to make a go of it in West Greenland.

Copper, nickel and cobalt, three important materials for the construction and use of batteries such as those needed in a Tesla or other electric vehicles and electronic devices, are what the U.S. company KoBold Metals wants to exploit. Not in the jungles of Central Africa, but rather in the middle of the west coast of Greenland. “We are looking for a deposit that will be the largest or second largest of the most significant nickel and cobalt deposits in the world,” says CEO and founder of the company, Kurt House in an interview with the U.S. network CNN. And if everything goes according to plan, extraction is to begin as early as next year.

The area believed to contain the valuable and coveted raw materials is located on the Nussuaq Peninsula, north of Disko Island, the second largest island in Greenland. With the help of test drilling, soil sampling, measurements of the earth’s magnetic field by helicopters and drones, and the use of artificial intelligence, KoBold Metals aims to determine the exact location of the deposits. This should reduce unnecessary drilling and thus damage to the environment, House believes. Work has now begun and a team of 30 people is involved in the search for the raw materials. The work is being carried out in conjunction with London-based BlueJay Mining, which has two other projects in Greenland. The materials are believed to be at depths between 150 – 400 meters.

Climate warming is leading to sharp retreats of most glaciers and to longer and longer ice-free periods. This promotes mining in Greenland, which in turn promotes warming in the short term. A vicious circle that can only be broken slowly by switching to electric transport and thus reducing emissions. (Photo: Dr Michael Wenger)

The extraction of raw materials is not without controversy. On the one hand, it has become possible because the climatic changes in Greenland have freed up large areas for mining projects, and precisely such projects also promote further warming through logistics, not to mention the possible damage to the fragile Arctic environment. At the same time, however, the raw materials are to be used to drive forward the production of batteries for electric vehicles in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the long term and accelerate the transition to “greener” energy use. Due to the war and the sanctions against Russia, these raw materials have become more difficult to obtain and therefore more expensive. In addition, some of the mining areas, especially in Africa, have come under criticism because the companies there promote child labor or fuel conflicts to avoid government control. This will hardly be possible in Greenland, as the current government takes environmental protection very seriously, despite the lure of foreign currency. Nevertheless, they are not averse to the investors and the project and have issued the permits.

In a 2-minute video, BlueJay Mining CEO Bo Stensgaard explains the purpose and status of the project. That’s because the project’s partner, KoBold Metals, has some high-profile investors attached to it who, while they want to promote environmental and climate protection, certainly have their investments in mind. Video: BlueJay Mining

California-based KoBold Metals secured about 51 percent of the project last year, relying on investors such as Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, entrepreneur and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Norwegian energy giant Equinor and mining company BHP are also among KoBold Metals’ investors. KoBold Metals has secured a total of more than US$192 million to explore for and extract raw materials that will help restore Greenland’s climate and environment later. But apparently you first have to take one step back for two steps forward.

Dr Michael Wenger, PolarJournal

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