April 21 (Reuters) - Australia's Greenland Minerals Ltd
said on Wednesday it would start talks with Greenland's
newly-formed government over its Kvanefjeld rare earth mining
project, which has been facing political opposition.
The Australian miner has sought legal advice, including over
its right to be granted an exploitation licence.
Last week, Greenland's left-wing Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA)
party announced a new government coalition and reiterated its
stance to block the project.
International mining companies have been pushing for rights
to exploit rare earth deposits in Greenland, which the U.S.
Geological Survey says are the world's biggest undeveloped
Kvanefjeld contains a large deposit of rare earth metals but
also radioactive uranium, which many fear will harm the
"My suspicion is that Greenland Minerals will focus more on
the rare earth elements (REE) now and less on the uranium," said
Dwayne Menezes, founder and managing director of think-tank
Polar Research and Policy Initiative (PRPI).
Menezes said while focussing more on REE does not mean IA
will let the project go through, it might "open up a window of
opportunity to engage in dialogue a little while longer."
Earlier in April, Greenland Minerals said uranium was of no
great importance to its project, seeking to assuage concerns.
The Australian explorer, which has been operating in
Greenland since 2007, holds the licence for the project and
gained preliminary approval for it last year. It plans to
continue its public consultation process, which runs until June.
Its shares, which were halted on Monday, dived more than 18%
to A$0.086 on Wednesday. They have slumped about 60% so far this
(Reporting by Shruti Sonal in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu and Uttaresh.V)