Conflict management

Foreground | Greenland officials hold public meetings to inform residents of their right to raise objections to planned mining projects

The hills are alive with the sounds of their objections (Photo: Greenland Minerals and Energy)

Kevin McGwin

In Greenland, representatives from five public agencies begin a week-long tour on Wednesday of the southern part of the country, where they will hold meetings to inform residents of their right to raise objections to planned mining projects.

Greenland currently only has two operational mines. Neither of them raised considerable resistance before they came on-line, but more mines are in the offing, and the national development strategy envisions mining as one of three pillars the economy can rest on, together with tourism and fishing. Conflicts are bound to arise as the country becomes more familiar with the costs and benefits of having a mining industry.

The meetings may prove a taste of what could be in store; a combined rare-earths and uranium mine close to the town Narsaq (pictured above), one of the cities on the list, has proven wildly divisive, due to concerns that it will spread radioactive dust over the town and adjacent agricultural areas.

Nuuk wants the road to economic independence to be paved with public involvement. It may find that the most responsible option is also the path of greatest resistance.

When: 13-20 Feb
Where: Nanortalik, Narsaq, Qaqortoq, Igaliku, Qassiarsuk and Narsarsuaq
WWW: Greenland Minerals Authority (official site)

Related article
As Greenland nears uranium decision, opponents fear public won’t be heard

Foreground articles offer a preview of events related to the Arctic that will be taking place in coming week.

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