Researchers say that raw material diplomacy has started. According to the CEO of the world’s second-largest producer of rare earths Shenghe Resources’, Mr Hu Zesong-
“We believe that rare earths will be critically important in the future”.
Thriving to cater towards rare earths supply, Greenland Minerals Limited (ASX:GGG) is at the frontline of a strategic evolution.
Developing the Kvanefjeld rare earth project in south west Greenland, which will possibly be the centre of the unfolding revolution in the efficient use of energy, GGG continued to make progress on the Project through the March 2020 Quarter.
More recently, the Company has been able to continue to advance key areas amid the COVID-19 crisis with minimal disruption.
Higlights of March 2020 Quarter
Along with Shenghe, GGG’s largest shareholder and a leader in RE processing technology, the Company is working to develop the Project as a low- cost, long-life cornerstone to future rare earth supply. Below are some of the GGG’s significant advancements during the March 2020 quarter-
Kvanefjeld Progresses Towards Mining License- EIA Paves Way For Public Consultation
In Greenland, permitting requires three key impact assessments and supporting studies to be prepared and accepted for public consultation- the Social impact assessment (SIA), Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIA) and the Maritime Safety study (MSS). The SIA and MSS of the Company have been accepted for public consultation.
The Company has been working through the permitting phase for the Project. Through the March 2020 quarter, the focus was the completion of additional technical studies that were undertaken following EIA reviews in 2019, which were conducted to address recommendations from Greenland’s Environmental Agency for Mineral Resource Activities (EAMRA) and provide additional requisite details.
The EAMRA highlighted Type 1 issues associated with the tailings management methods. To address the same, meetings were conducted with EAMRA. Besides this, Shared Resources and independent consultancies supported different EIA aspects for a comprehensive review to ensure cross referencing and consistency.
Recently, EAMRA has given an indicative period of 8-weeks to review the decisive EIA. Once this is resolved, the EIA will be ready for public consultation.
To know more about the EIA Progress, READ HERE- Greenland Minerals Receives EIA Review Timeline, Licensing Process Advances
A Look at Additional Studies Undertaken Towards EIA Review
GGG concentrated on four aspects to appease EAMRA’s queries pertaining to the EIA- tailings closure method, seismic analysis and modelling, site hydrology and radon studies.
Tailings Closure Method
Based on existing technology, the method of tailings closure is to close down the tailings facility as a lake which can be deemed as a wet closure. To permit precise comparison to wet closure method, EAMRA asked for development of a dry closure method to the identical detail level.
Conducted by Klohn Crippen Berger (KCB), a comprehensive dry closure design with best available technology was developed, to the same standard as the wet design, which led to a trade-off study. The study demonstrated that the wet closure design relatively showcases a softer environmental impact (based on the KCB’s assessed criteria).
KCB’s report on dry closure has been reviewed by the Danish Centre for Environment, and has since been updated by KCB to address recommendations.
As per EAMRA, a final decision on closure will be adhered to in the operational stage, wherein new considerations or technologies can be efficiently applied.
Seismic Analysis and Modelling
Besides the Tailings Closure Method, KCB also performed a two-part analysis to determine the stability of the tailings dam walls- the first phase determined the maximum number and magnitude of earthquakes possible during the life of the project and beyond, and the second accessed the stability of the planned tailings dam walls.
Results showed that the tailings dam wall will be stable under maximum earthquake scenarios.
Besides this, KCB were also engaged to develop a three-dimensional model to examine the impacts of a theoretical tailings dam wall failure. It indicated that under a failure scenario, the released solids and water would be naturally channelled via the Taseq Valley to Illua Bay below, and will not flow into the town of Narsaq, nor is it expected to result in any fatalities. Event impact on the environment would be medium.
Possible impacts to the local water environment were discussed with the advisor sto the Government of Greenland. Modifications have been incorporated into the updated EIA document and post additional exchange of documents and plans to mitigate any excursions, the EIA will be updated with additional explanatory material.
Arcadis was directed to verify the radiation impact assessments. This was done to determine the surface area of samples used for radon release test work in 2018. As per Arcadis, the latest information is consistent with previous calculations. They have updated specific radon reports to include this and other information.
Approval of Kvanefjeld Project Documentation
Adding another feather to its cap, GGG was granted effective documentation of a deposit of exploitable minerals in the license area by Greenland Government. Ministry of Mineral Resources and Labour confirmed in writing that GGG’s mineral resource and feasibility reports for the Project stand approved.
What’s noteworthy is the fact that the mineral resources for the Kvanefjeld mine plan (initial 37-year operation) are largely of the ‘measured’ category (highest confidence category), when the requirement is to be of the ‘indicated’ (or higher) category as reported in accordance with the Australian JORC Code.
To know more about this Documentation, READ HERE- Greenland Minerals Inching Towards Kvanefjeld Mining License, Approval of Exploitable Minerals Documentation Granted
It is evident that the Project, at the back of its key attributes and Shenghe’s downstream processing technology and capacity, will be an integral constituent in new supply networks. It will be interesting to watch GGG unfolding its fast-tracked project developments.
On the corporate end, cash and cash equivalents at end of quarter amounted to $7.77 million.
The stock traded at $0.112 on 1 May 2020 (1:30 PM AEST), and has delivered return of 30.68% in the last one-month.
NOTE- The Board has decided to defer the AGM due in May 2020. GGG will look to set a date for the AGM in mid-May, post guidance on the easing of restrictions is provided by the National Cabinet.
To know more about the Kvanefjeld Project, READ HERE- Globally Significant Greenland Minerals Fostering Rare Earths Realm