COPENHAGEN, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Greenland said on Monday it
has stripped a Chinese mining company of its license to an iron
ore deposit near the capital Nuuk, dealing a blow to attempts by
Chinese companies to gain a foothold on the resource-rich Arctic
General Nice, a Chinese coal and iron ore importer, took
control of the Isua mine project in 2015, replacing previous
owner London Mining, which went bankrupt.
It was the first Chinese firm to have the right to exploit
minerals in Greenland, which has attracted international
interest as climate change has opened up waterways and access to
the vast Arctic island's mineral resources.
The license was withdrawn because of inactivity at the site,
the government said in a statement, adding it will be offered to
new interested companies once it has formally been handed back.
The company also failed to make the agreed guarantee
payments, it said.
"We cannot accept that a license-holder repeatedly fails to
meet agreed deadlines," Greenland's Resources Minister Naaja
The government requested that all geological data is
returned, remaining payments of 1.5 million Danish crowns are
deposited, and the mining area is cleaned up.
London Mining, which obtained the exploitation license in
2013, had initially planned to hire some 2,000 Chinese workers
to construct the project and aimed to supply China with around
15 million metric tonnes of iron ore a year.
However, it failed to secure sufficient financing.
Greenland's government https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/moon-dust-greenlands-recipe-saving-planet-earth-2021-10-14,
elected in April, has said it supports environmentally
This year it banned uranium mining, effectively halting
development of the Kuannersuit mine, one of the world's biggest
rare earth deposits, which is partly-owned by a Chinese company.
General Nice also attempted in 2016 to buy an abandoned
naval station in Greenland from Denmark, but Copenhagen vetoed
the offer because of security concerns, sources told Reuters at
General Nice could not be reached for comment.
In 2018, Greenland rejected an offer from a Chinese state
bank and a state-owned construction company to finance and build
two airports in Greenland.
(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; editing by Barbara