Trump was right.
The last time we visited Greenland in this blog, President Donald Trump was being mocked for inquiring if Denmark would consider selling Greenland to the US. As Trump noted, the region is rich in resources essential for the modern economy.
Turns out Trump was right…to be interested in Greenland’s potential.
Now billionaires are following in Trump’s footsteps.
A band of billionaires, including Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates, among others, is betting that below the surface of the hills and valleys on Greenland’s Disko Island and Nuussuaq Peninsula there are enough critical minerals to power hundreds of millions of electric vehicles.
…The billionaire club is financially backing Kobold Metals, a mineral exploration company and California-based startup, the company’s representatives told CNN. Bezos, Bloomberg and Gates did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment on this story. Kobold is partnered with Bluejay Mining to find the rare and precious metals in Greenland that are necessary to build electric vehicles and massive batteries to store renewable energy.
Thirty geologists, geophysicists, cooks, pilots and mechanics are camped at the site where Kobold and Blujay are searching for the buried treasure.
Drilling is slated to begin next summer.
The team in Greenland is using AI to find areas for drilling that can start next summer, according to CNN. In addition, the team is taking soil samples and using drones and helicopters to scope out the layers below the surface.
“It is a concern to witness the consequences and impacts from the climate changes in Greenland,” Bo Møller Stensgaard, CEO of Bluejay Mining, told CNN. “But, generally speaking, climate changes overall have made exploration and mining in Greenland easier and more accessible.”
I will simply point out that the entire nation could have benefited if Denmark had agreed to the deal. Now, it appears only a few politically-connected billionaires will reap the profits.
I suspect there will be little worry about environmental impact as well.
There are two primary methods for [Rare Earth Element] REE mining, both of which release toxic chemicals into the environment. The first involves removing topsoil and creating a leaching pond where chemicals are added to the extracted earth to separate metals. This form of chemical erosion is common since the chemicals dissolve the rare earth, allowing it to be concentrated and then refined. However, leaching ponds, full of toxic chemicals, may leak into groundwater when not properly secured and can sometimes affect entire waterways.
The second method involves drilling holes into the ground using polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes and rubber hoses to pump chemicals into the earth, which also creates a leaching pond with similar problems. Additionally, PVC pipes are sometimes left in areas that are never cleaned up.
Both methods produce mountains of toxic waste, with high risk of environmental and health hazards. For every ton of rare earth produced, the mining process yields 13kg of dust, 9,600-12,000 cubic meters of waste gas, 75 cubic meters of wastewater, and one ton of radioactive residue. This stems from the fact that rare earth element ores have metals that, when mixed with leaching pond chemicals, contaminate air, water, and soil. Most worrying is that rare earth ores are often laced with radioactive thorium and uranium, which result in especially detrimental health effects. Overall, for every ton of rare earth, 2,000 tons of toxic waste are produced.
A few well-placed “donations” to select green justice groups should help smooth the way for drilling.DONATE
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