Greenland Minerals Sees Firming Support In New Uranium Policy

Jan. 24, 2016 5:12 PM ET
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Greenland Minerals and Energy (ASX:GGG) is set to benefit from another enhancement of Greenland's uranium regulatory system as the autonomous Danish territory moves to safeguard its export industry for the nuclear fuel.

The country - which administrates the uranium sector jointly with Denmark - has established a legal framework regarding the special foreign, defence and security policy issues of the commodity.

This is seen as a key step in aligning the local industry with international standards and best practice for uranium and radioactive materials.

Shares in Greenland Minerals jumped as much as 21% this morning on the news and were last trading 13.8% stronger at A$0.033.

It follows the Greenland government ratifying its accession to a series of international safety conventions relating to uranium in late 2015.

These items come as the end result of ongoing cooperative work by Greenland and Denmark, which follow the recommendations of a report into uranium mining and export, commissioned in 2013.

Project momentum

The regulatory progress for the uranium industry in Greenland has coincided with Greenland Minerals' work to finalise an mining license application for the company's Kvanefjeld project.

This development puts the company in a position to leverage the project's massive inventory as nuclear and niche metal markets take off in the medium term.

Importantly, it follows a Greenland government approval for Kvanefjeld's public pre-hearing white paper and terms of reference.

The milestone bodes well for the pending mining licence application since the clearance implies both government support and company meticulousness in project design.

Feasibility work for Kvanefjeld has outlined a 37-year mine life for an operation with a low strip ratio and a maiden ore reserve of 108 million tonnes at 362 parts per million uranium, 2,600 parts per million zinc and 14,300 parts per million total rare earth oxides.

The process route has been rigorously developed, and both concentrator and refinery circuits have been successfully operated at pilot plant scale.

Collectively, these achievements have Kvanefjeld positioned as one of the most advanced rare earth and uranium projects globally.

Analysis

Alignment of the Greenland uranium and rare earths industries with international standards is a good sign for Greenland Minerals as it sets up Kvanefjeld to benefit from more approvals milestones as a mining licence application goes under government review.

Encouragingly, the legislation is expected to go through in the near term, with media reports indicating that laws regarding safeguards and export controls on dual use goods (uranium) for Greenland are tabled for ratification in the upcoming sitting of Danish Parliament in March.

Pending permits for the project in this context represent significant potential price catalysts for Greenland Minerals.

Also, the Greenland government's recent sense of urgency to modernise its country's uranium policy suggests a growing understanding that this macro market is set for increased investment and growth opportunities.

Kvanefjeld is expected to meet these evolving markets with potential to be amongst the industry's lowest-cost producers (after by-product costs) and a current life-of-mine plan based on only 10% of a massive overall resource base.

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