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Greenland Minerals (ASX:GGG) - Managing Director, John Mair - The Market Herald
Managing Director, John Mair
Source: Rox Resources
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  • Following Greenland's election last week, Greenland Minerals (GGG) has been thrust into damage control, but its CEO remains cautiously optimistic
  • The Inuit Ataqatigiit party, which has campaigned aggressively against Greenland Minerals' Kvanefjeld Project, took 37 per cent of the votes
  • Greenland Minerals submitted a mining application in July 2019 for the Kvanefjeld Project, which is thought to hold the largest deposit of rare earth metals outside of China
  • Chief executive John Mair said there are "a lot of people watching what is currently playing out in Greenland" but that the company had not yet had the opportunity to engage with the country's current leadership
  • He cited other rare earth projects in Australia with higher combined levels of uranium and thorium and said Kvanefjeld could be managed by modern mining methods
  • Shares in Greenland Minerals fell more than 44 per cent immediately following the election result but were up 18.18 per cent today to $0.13 per share

Following Greenland's election last week, Greenland Minerals (GGG) has been thrust into damage control, but its CEO remains cautiously optimistic.

The left-wing Inuit Ataqatigiit — "Community of the People" — party, which has campaigned aggressively against Greenland Minerals' Kvanefjeld Project in the country's south, took 37 per cent of the votes and secured 12 out of the 31 seats in the Greenlandic national assembly.

It's a sweeping change from the stance held by the social democratic Siumut party, which — with the exception of 2009 to 2013 — has led the country since 1979 and helped secure preliminary approval for Kvanefjeld where Greenland Minerals' partner Shenghe Resources is the largest shareholder.

In a victory speech last week, the Inuit Ataqatigiit party's chairman Mute Egede pointed to the predominantly environmental themes that made his party the standout contender.

"There are two issues that have been important in this election campaign: people's living conditions is one," he said. "And then there is our health and the environment."

Greenland Minerals had submitted a mining application to the country's government in July 2019 for the Kvanefjeld Project, which is thought to hold the largest deposit of rare earth metals outside of China and has been engaged in a public consultation process ever since.

Egede went on to stress the importance of listening "to the voters who are worried," adding that "we say no to uranium mining."

In February this year, a group of 141 NGOs signed a statement petitioning the Greenlandic and Danish Governments and the European Union to establish "an Arctic sanctuary" that would protect "Greenland's pristine environment."

"The mining projects at Kringlerne and Kvanefjeld threaten the nearby Kujataa world heritage site, a farming landscape, which was inscribed on UNESCO's world heritage list in 2017," the letter said.

There have also been reports of death threats aimed at cabinet ministers who supported the Kvanefjeld Project.

Nevertheless, Greenland Minerals' chief executive John Mair, speaking to The Market Herald, said there are "a lot of people watching what is currently playing out in Greenland" but that the company had not yet had the opportunity to engage with the country's current leadership.

"Kvanefjeld is Greenland's highest-profile project, and is of both geopolitical and commercial significance. It is the most rigorously investigated project in Greenland," Mair said.

"Successful development of Kvanefjeld would therefore be Greenland's ultimate 'proof of concept' for mining investment, but if it is stalls due to unforeseen political reasons, it will not be seen as a positive step in the eyes of the international investment community."

When asked what the general outlook for mining in Greenland was, Mair added that there are rare earth projects in Australia with substantially higher combined levels of uranium and thorium that are fully permitted.

"The perceived issues at Kvanefjeld can be readily managed by modern mining methods, and this is clearly understood in experienced mining jurisdictions."

Shares in Greenland Minerals fell more than 44 per cent after the results of the election were revealed, but the company has since made back some of those losses, posting a gain of 18.18 per cent today to reach $0.13 per share at 12:28 pm AEST.

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