Home / World / Greenland election: Ataqatigiit Inuit wins after pledging to halt Chinese-backed rare earth operations

Greenland election: Ataqatigiit Inuit wins after pledging to halt Chinese-backed rare earth operations



“People have spoken,” Mute Egede, leader of Inuit Ataqatigiit, told Danish spokesman DR on Wednesday, pledging that development of the Kvanefjeld mine would be halted.

The election results affect China, which mines more than 70 percent of the world̵

7;s rarest minerals and hopes to maintain its dominance over demand. Greenland Minerals, the company behind the mining project, said Kvanefjeld has “the potential to be a producer. One of the world’s largest producers of rare earth minerals, Shenghe Resources Holding Co., and possibly “a major global supplier of rare earth for decades”, Shenghe Resources Holding Co., one of the world’s largest producers of rare earth minerals. It is the largest shareholder in the company and will be responsible for the complex work of processing rare earth when extracted.

Rare earth minerals are used to make high-tech devices, including flat-screen cell phones, electric cars, wind turbines and weapons. As a result, they have become a key bargain chip in the US-China trade war, with Beijing threatening 2019 to cut exports and causing sudden disruption to U.S. manufacturing.

The Kvanefjeld mine, if planned, will continue to increase Greenland’s carbon footprint by 45 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal, a major concern in part of the world that has seen unprecedented melting ice. Due to climate change Additionally, uranium is extracted as part of the mining process, which has led to concerns about radioactive runoff and waste.

“We risk being left with a country where nothing can be used,” Mariane Paviasen, who took a seat in Greenland’s parliament on Tuesday as a member of Inuit Ataqatigiit, told the DR. It can hunt or fish because it is full of pollution. ”

Supporters, including Greenland’s center-left Siumut Party, insisted the mine could generate hundreds of millions of dollars and create hundreds of jobs, putting the territory in a better position to secede from Denmark. Greenland is currently a small Scandinavian autonomous region, which relies on protection and an annual grant of approximately $ 624 million, which funds its basic services. The opinion poll says the vast majority of 57,000 Greenlanders hope to advance their independence.

But some Greenlanders see allowing other nations to extract their precious mineral resources as a new form of colonialism, “indirectly controlling less developed countries by developed countries” Aili. Liimakka Laue, who lives near the proposed mine, told NPR.

The Kvanefjeld mining operation was close to clearing the final regulatory hurdle earlier this year when a dispute over whether it should continue, sparked a split of the Greenland government and prompted a swift election, said Chief Executive Miles Guy. Greenland Minerals Finance told the Wall Street Journal that it has already invested nearly $ 100 million in the project, and “in our view it would be a very bad intention to turn all of the sudden.”

The closure of the mining operations could send a global message of “resistance” and suggest that Greenland is hostile to outside investors, cautioned Dwayne Menezes, founder and managing director of the Polar Research and Policy Initiative, noted that Inuit Ataqatigiit was not called. Calls for a comprehensive mining ban and the next challenge is to make it clear that Greenland “remains open to business and remains an attractive and secure jurisdiction for investment”.

The expectation of allowing foreign mining companies, which would reduce the need for dependence on Danish subsidies, has been a split issue in Greenland for years in 2013 when Greenland’s parliament lifted a ban on extraction of radioactive substances such as The law passed a single vote.

Erik Jensen, the leader of the Siumut party, told Denmark’s TV 2 that he believed the party’s support for the mines was “One of the main reasons” for the defeat in Tuesday’s parliamentary elections, according to the BBC.

Egede is now Greenland’s youngest prime minister. His rapid rise to political office – he started in 2015 when another congressman had to take sick leave – is partly credited to his success in reaching voters through the social media Instagram account. His image interspersed with his image being dragged through the snow by a sled dog and introduced his toddler to Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”.

While Egede told Danish television that his party’s victory meant the Kvanefjeld mining project had officially ended. But it is likely to remain in limbo for the foreseeable future.The Ataqatigiit Inuit receives 37 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election and will have to form a coalition with other parties, some may insist on. Will hold a referendum on this issue

In addition to Greenland, perhaps the largest reservoir of rare earth minerals outside of China, its strategic position between the United States and Russia in the Arctic Circle represents the source of more and more world powers in 2019. Donald Trump has pushed a top aide to see if it would be possible for the US to buy land from Denmark (not for sale) and as the US builds a military arsenal at the air base. Thule, a Greenland outpost in northern China, is also trying to establish its own state.

“This is a very clear message from the people of Greenland to China and to the world: economic development, although it has made Greenland independent. But it does not show the destruction of the environment, ”says Mikamared, a lecturer on Arctic Affairs at The HEC Business School in Paris told French news agency Liberation.

She noted that voters aged 18 to 60 were primarily supportive of the Ataqatigiit Inuit and called for a halt to the mining program, while those over 60 were more likely to sided with the Siumut and push for it. Greenland is financially independent.

By voting against mining interests, Greenland also sent a message to the United States and European nations that view the island as “A treasure trove of resources,” said Mered.

This report has been updated.




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