Greenland PM: Europe could miss out on mineral riches

greenland-flagGreenland’s Prime Minister has warned that the EU could miss out on having access to the territory’s newly uncovered mineral wealth.

Kuupik Kleist said last week in an interview with Reuters that he has the ability to end a preliminary agreement that will protect the EU’s right to the country’s lucrative rare earths and other resources, noting that European officials have not bothered to follow through with the deal.

“I don’t understand the behaviour of the (European) Commission,” he said. “I signed a letter (to the EU) last month (saying) if we were not to take further steps to negotiating a real agreement we would rather put aside the MOU. I have not got any answer on that still.”

He added, “I have been to Brussels many times. I don’t have a thorough explanation why the big interest in Greenland and the Arctic area does not play out in really concrete activities from the European side.”

The news comes following protests from both Brussels and Washington after Greenland signed a major mineral deal with Chinese investors looking to cash in on rare earths access on the North Atlantic island. Experts say that China currently controls more than 90 per cent of the rare earths market; the minerals are a crucial ingredient in the manufacturing of electronic consumer goods such as smart phones and tablet computers.

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