Key rare earths, particularly the ‘magnet metals’ are critical elements with looming supply shortage. However, their demand has been soaring owing to key significance in clean energy generation and efficient energy use in electric vehicles, wind turbines, and the ever-growing list of other applications.
The Kvanefjeld rare earth project in south west Greenland is believed to be the future cornerstone of to global rare earth supply. Subiaco-based Greenland Minerals (ASX:GGG), 100% owner of the lucrative project, has garnered much interest off late.
The Project has got rare earths in the spotlight with GGG hitting international headlines. While outstanding optimisation outcomes have emphasized Kvanefjeld’s global significance, GGG has maintained strong community ties in Greenland. Most significantly in the current times, permitting processes have been making key advancements.
Recently, GGG intimated about progress in the ongoing Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) approval process, wherein Greenland’s Environmental Agency for Mineral Resource Activities (EAMRA) has provided an indicative period of eight weeks to review the final EIA.
EAMRA Provides 8-Week Timeline for GGG’s EIA Review
The EIA is a key component of Kvanefjeld rare earth project permitting. Its reviews were received in October, and subsequent meetings with EAMRA resulted out in a clear and structured approach to finalising the EIA. Many areas of the EIA suggestions are already closed and the additional work programs were set for completion in the first quarter of 2020.
The last inputs on the EIA, received in mid-October, represented a defined approach focussed on looking at some priority areas (Type 1 issues) where additional details have been sought ahead of a public consultation.
In ongoing communications, EAMRA has provided an indicative period of eight weeks to review the final EIA. Once the EAMRA approves the EIA, the Ministry of Mineral Resources will manage the remainder of the licensing process, including formalising the public consultation process.
GGG’s independent review is scheduled to be completed by next week.
Shared Resources, a renowned consultant has been appointed to conduct the review of the final EIA under lead consultant Ms Liz Wall. The consultant aims to ensure consistency, cross referencing, and appropriate addressing of feedback from the Greenland Government and their advisors. Several independent consultancies have contributed to different aspects of the EIA.
The Kvanefjeld EIA draws on several technical studies by a cross section of specialist independent consultants selected based on their reputation and competency. The process has been curated to be detailed and rigorous in understanding and inspecting associated risks with project development, operation, and closure.
Let us take a sneak peek to the EIA developments so far-
Independent specialist consultant Klohn Crippen Berger (KCB) has been engaged to perform the supplemental tailings studies which is built on existing tailings studies conducted by AMEC Foster Wheeler (now Wood Group). Work on the tailings-associated Type 1 issues was completed in March 2020. Arcadis was engaged in conducting supplemental work and additional clarification of the outcomes of existing studies.
Studies by these independent consultants to address the Type 1 issues has been completed and these studies have now been reviewed by Shared Resources. Moreover, the Danish Centre for Environment (DCE) has reviewed the additional tailings storage and closure studies.
The supplemental studies will add further detail to the EIA and are vital to develop the EIA to the highest possible standards. It is likely to provide confidence to Company stakeholders that the environmental impact of the Project has been examined meticulously.
What’s In Store?
Currently, Respective consultancies are updating reports to address Shared Resources’ and DCE’s recommendations, to be completed in the days to come. These additional EIA technical studies and the updated EIA report will then be submitted to EAMRA.
Once the EIA is approved by EAMRA, the Ministry of Mineral Resources will manage the remainder of the licensing process, including formalising the public consultation process.
GGG settled at $ 0.097, up by 2.11 % on 22 April 2020.