Greenland miner could offer solution to the precious metals crisis

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An Interview with the CEO of AEX Gold

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Even if you do not invest in precious metals, your life will not be the same without them.

Your alarm clock, mobile phone, clock, laptop, iPad, washing machine, dishwasher or car simply won’t work.

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The problem is that metals are scarce and demand is growing rapidly with the increasing global demand for electronic consumables.

Worryingly, China realized this early and has bought almost all of its supply of these metals in Asia, Africa and South America over the past 15 years.

Not for the first time, they have completely outnumbered the West and supply shortages are coming our way.

I spoke with Eldur Olafsson, CEO of AEX Gold, which holds the largest mining rights in Greenland, a country that is a territory of Denmark with an area half the size of the continent of Australia. Eldur may have an answer to the impending supply shortfall of rare earths and help push the West out of a hole.

Which minerals are important in consumer electronics and energy transition?

There are many minerals that are now important because of our addiction to technology and which will become increasingly important as the world embraces technology to reach its net-zero goals. As always, China has stolen a strategic march on the West. It currently provides more than 85 percent of the world’s rare earths and controls about two-thirds of the global supply of rare metals and minerals, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Lithium, nickel, cobalt, magnesium, and graphite are all important to battery operation, performance and longevity, and any electric network requires copper and aluminum to function, which means that the price and availability of these elements has to be affected. There is a direct impact on electric vehicle supply. Chain.

What Minerals Are in Greenland?

With so far little exploration, Greenland already holds 1.5% of the global rare earth reserves, which include an abundance of different metals and minerals and much more to discover. Rare earth deposits hosting copper, nickel, zinc and graphite have only recently been discovered. There are currently 12 active explorers among the eight items.

How easy is it for the UK, US and Europe to access minerals in Greenland?

There is absolutely no need to look to China for supplies of rare earth materials to western countries such as the UK, US and Europe. Greenland was a member of the European Union until 1982, remains close from a trade standpoint and has since made trade deals of its own with several Western countries. In June 2021, talks were held between the governments of Greenland and the UK, following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, in a bid to forge closer trading ties.

Is mining in Greenland easy and environmentally friendly?

The Greenland government particularly supports the mining industry to diversify its economy, so much so that it doubled its spending on exploration in its last budget announcement. Although many consider the island to be permanently covered with ice and snow, this is far from the case. Where AEX Gold operates, in southern Greenland, conditions are warmer than in the north of the island, whose tip is actually at the same latitude as the northernmost part of Britain. With a population of only 50,000, most of the island population is free-living, congregating in fishing communities near the coast. The government has also introduced a Responsible Mining Code that ensures operators reduce emissions by using alternative fuel options such as wind and hydro.

Greenland has great potential to become a strategic mining hub to supply strategic metals to technologies used in everyday life, both in Europe and the Americas.


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