With a historic result in the political elections, the Greenland it took sides against the mining exploitation of its territory and its waters. The left-wing environmental party Intimidation Ataquatigiit (IA) in fact, he won the vote on 6 April, taking control of the parliamentary majority away from the Siumut Social Democratic Party for the first time since 1979.
AI had strongly opposed the vast project for the exploitation of the Kvanefjeld fields, one of the most important mining sites in the world. It was that very project that caused the political crisis of February and the resulting early elections in the country.
In the elections, Inuit Ataqatigiit got the 36.6 percent of the votes, while Siumut stopped at 29.4 percent. It will then be the turn of the AI leader, the 34-year-old Mute Egede, try to form a government. To do this, the party will have to ally itself with smaller formations.
After the news of the victory, Egede announced that he will sign theParis climate agreement and that the controversial Kvanefjeld rare earth exploitation project will be stopped. “From the verdict of the voters, especially in southern Greenland, where the mine is located, it is evident how they oppose the project,” said the young leader. “We must listen to the citizens, who have spoken”.
What the mining project in Kvanefjeld envisaged
The project that caused the political crisis was about Kvanefjeld, in the south of the island, where the fifth richest vein in the world would be found uranium and the world’s second largest concentration of rare earth, a group of 17 metals used as components in technological devices, such as smartphones, flat screens, electric cars and weapons.
The Australian Greenland Minerals, supported by the Chinese group Shenghe, had obtained an exploration license for the mine, which could have turned into a large one economic resource for the island. Siumut was in favor, Inuit Ataquatigiit against.
In fact, environmentalists denounced that large-scale mining could damage the pristine landscape of Greenland and aggravate the threats to the ecosystem of the Arctic island, inhabited by just 56 thousand people. The broad consensus obtained during the vote shows that this concern is shared by the Greenlandic population, who rejected the mining project.