Greenland Minerals and Energy (ASX: GGG) (GMEL) shares should surely rise after the Greenland parliament voted to repeal its zero-tolerance uranium policy, which allows for the mineral rich Kvanefjeld multi-element project to move into permitting and towards mine development.
GMEL's shares will move out of a trading halt.
GMEL's wholly-owned Kvanefjeld project contains rare earth elements, uranium, zinc, with global JORC Resource at Kvanefjeld containing 575Mlb's U3O8, and 10.3Mt of rare earth oxide.
This resource is of genuine global significance, particularly in consideration that less than 20% of the project area has been subjected to drilling and resource definition.
While the resources are extensive, a key advantage to the Kvanefjeld project is the unique rare earth and uranium-bearing minerals.
These minerals can be effectively beneficiated into a lowmass, high value concentrate, then leached with conventional acidic solutions under atmospheric conditions to achieve particularly high extraction levels of both heavy rare earths
This contrasts to the highly refractory minerals that are common in many rare earth deposits.
Kvanefjeld therefore represents one of Greenland's most significant, and strategically important mining opportunities.
Greenland's parliament votes
On Thursday 24th October, Greenland's parliament voted in favour of removing a long-standing zero-tolerance policy concerning uranium and other radioactive elements.
This landmark decision represents a significant moment for Greenland, as it places Greenland on the path to uranium-producer status, and thereby opens up coincident resources of rare earth elements to exploitation.
The removal of the zero-tolerance policy is in alignment with Greenland's broader intent to develop mining projects as a core to its future economic prosperity.
Reasons for Greenland's decision to repeal zero-tolerance policy
A key underlying reason for Greenland to address and repeal the zero-tolerance policy is that abundant resources of uranium occur in Greenland's south, resources which are also strongly enriched in rare earth elements.
These resources are hosted within the northern Ilimaussaq Complex and form the basis of GMEL's Kvanefjeld project.
Kvanefjeld project: Definitive Feasibility Study
The Kvanefjeld project is currently the subject of a Definitive Feasibility Study to evaluate a polymetallic mining operation that is slated to produce uranium oxide, rare earth concentrates, and zinc.
A Preliminary Feasibility Study on Kvanefjeld, released by GMEL in 2012, outlined a long-life, internationally cost-competitive operation that would stand to make Greenland a major supplier of REEs and a substantial long-term supplier of uranium oxide.
Greenland's policy change 'timed well for GMEL'
The decision to abolish the zero-tolerance policy comes after several years in which uranium has been the subject of political and community discussions in Greenland.
The timing is important for GMEL and the Kvanefjeld Project. Metallurgical process development is well-advanced, and several years of environmental baseline studies have been completed.
The company is now looking to work closely with regulatory bodies to lock in the configuration of the Kvanefjeld project, which then allows for the finalisation of environmental and social impact assessments and the lodging of an exploitation license application.
Greenland is preparing to be appropriately equipped to process the application, in parallel to establishing a regulatory framework to effectively manage uranium production.
The company looks forward to continuing discussions on the Kvanefjeld project with Greenland stakeholders and regulators in order to finalise the development strategy of what is emerging as a world-class mining opportunity in Greenland.
While "game-changer" is often bandied around, the historic Greenland parliament vote provides a sure pathway for GMEL to be firmly on the road to uranium‐producer status for its massive Kvanefjeld project.
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