Greenland is the largest island in the world with three-fourths of its surface covered by the only permanent sheet of ice outside of Antarctica. Until recently the most sparsely inhabited jurisdiction in the world was primarily known for trivia like the fact that if all of its ice melted world sea levels would rise by six meters (20 feet). Now, as the ice sheet is melting, Greenland has become a trove for minerals including strategic minerals such as rare earth elements. That being the case, how can you invest in Greenland and its mineral riches?
The World Wants Greenland’s Minerals
The receding of the Greenland ice sheet and the presence of valuable minerals for easy mining has not gone unnoticed. The New York Times wrote about Greenland and its minerals and the race to cash in on Greenland’s mineral riches.
Global superpowers are jostling for influence. Billionaire investors are making big bets. Mining companies have staked claims throughout the island in a quest that also includes nickel, cobalt, titanium and, yes, gold.
What The Times also notes is that Greenlanders are concerned about how mining operations could reshape or even destroy their world.
But those expecting to exploit the island’s riches will have to contend with Mariane Paviasen and the predominantly Indigenous residents of the village of Narsaq.
Who Lives in Greenland and Who Governs It?
The roughly 56,000 inhabitants of Greenland are 89% Inuit whose ancestors migrated across the Arctic from what is present day Alaska, 6% Danish, 1% other Nordic, and 1% miscellaneous. These folks live on an island into which would fit the countries of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The island was “discovered” by the Vikings in the 10th century when a ship bound for Iceland was blown off course. The island is part of the Kingdom of Denmark but is autonomous and self-governing. When he was president, Donald Trump suggested that the USA should simply buy Greenland from Denmark to secure its mineral riches. Because the island is self-governing and because it has a small population, all of the issues revolving around mineral rights and mining tend to be very local issues as detailed in the article in The Times. The folks on Greenland are fully aware how fragile their ecosystem is and are not especially interested in moving somewhere else so that folks elsewhere in the world can drive electric cars.
How Can You Invest in Greenland?
Companies hoping to open mining operations in Greenland include a small Australian company, Greenland Minerals Ltd with a Chinese partner according to The Mongabay News. As the article notes, the company was “red-carded” to use a soccer term in its quest to mine an area rich in uranium and rare earth elements and discard huge amounts of radioactive thorium. Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates have teamed up to try to mine Greenland’s riches. According to Mining Technology, 41 companies have mining rights in Greenland with Denmark and the UK being the most prominent followed by Canada and Australia and not China or the USA. Major players include Anglo American and Glencore. Others include Arctic Energy Pty Ltd, Greenland Gas & Oil Ltd, East Greenland Oil A/S, and Bluejay Mining PLC, not all of which are listed companies.
The Five Eyes and Greenland’s Minerals
As we have noted in our articles about strategic minerals including rare earth elements, lithium, and the rest, access to and control of supply chains for these strategic assets could determine global economic and military dominance in years to come. It is of note that the leading companies in the rush to recover strategic minerals from Greenland include three of the “five eyes” nations, Australia, Canada, and the UK. These three along with New Zealand and the USA are strategic partners along with nations in the EU, Japan, and now India in working to avoid Chinese hegemony in the years to come. Keep this in mind when thinking about how to invest in Greenland.
How Can You Invest in Greenland? – Slideshare Version