Greenland to get its first ruby and sapphire mine

Government grants approval for facility near a tiny village south of the capital Nuuk

Ticks are carrying a new strain of bacteria (Photo: CDC/ Dr. Christopher Paddock)
June 4th, 2014 9:01 pm| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Greenland’s government has given the green light to a plan by True North Gems (TNG) to establish a ruby and pink sapphire mine at Aappaluttoq in southwest Greenland

“We can now look forward to moving ahead with the construction and production phases of the project," said company head Nicholas Houghton in a statement. "Today's approvals are a true testament of the hard work and co-operation exhibited by both the government of Greenland and the company.”

The process of assessing environmental and other impacts on the surrounding area has taken nearly a decade

The plan approved by the government established the framework for the production, site reclamation and construction of mine facilities. It also outlined health and safety requirements for workers, environmental guidelines and project infrastructure.

Gems and jobs
TNG promised that all Greenlandic communities and the economy as a whole would benefit from the Aappaluttoq mine, saying that they were committed to “bringing direct employment and training whilst developing new skill sets and supporting the growth of secondary industries”.

“I am very pleased that the project can move forward with the prospect of new job creation, business opportunities and income to the Greenland society,” said Jens-Erik Kirkegaard, Greenland’s minister of industry and mining.

Asii Chemnitz Narup, the mayor of Sermersooq, also expressed pleasure at the prospect of new jobs in the council.

"True North Gems is committed to employing local workers,” said Narup. “This will benefit our community and especially the settlement of Qeqertarsuatsiaat."

Red  Mountain
The closest village to Aappaluttoq is tiny Qeqertarsuatsiaat with just over 200 inhabitants. It lies about 150 kilometers south of Nuuk and is accessible by boat or helicopter.

The major environmental impacts of the mine will occur in a lake near the site where waste from the mining process will wind up and in Nuuk where the mined gems will be cleaned using hydrofluoric acid. There are as strict requirements for handling and disposing of the highly corrosive acid. Low intensity blasting will be used to get at the gems.

READ MORE: No uranium, no investments, mining company tells Greenlanders

The name of the main ruby mining area translates, ironically, as ‘Red Mountain’.

Ticks are carrying a new strain of bacteria (Photo: CDC/ Dr. Christopher Paddock)
Ticks carrying a new form of bacteria
A new strain of Borrelia bacterium is making its way to Denmark is making i...
Summer is on the way. For a day or two... (Photo: tpsdave)
Hate the summer so far? Well, it’s not likely to get much better
The last hope of warm summer sunshine and temperatures look like they will ...
Students have way too many choices, say educators (Photo: Hoodr)
Young people confused by glut of continuing education choices
The number of continuing education choices offered to students, 843 at last...
mad_ud_af
Fire at 400-year-old Jutland inn leads to evacuation of 200 guests
About 200 guests staying at one of Jutland's oldest and best-known inns, th...
Foreigners are buying more and more summer properties (Photo: Hubertus)
Increasing numbers of foreigners circumventing prohibitions and buying summer homes in Denmark
Although the law still forbids foreigners from buying Danish summer homes, ...
Shoppers are scooping up nearly expired food (Photo: Bando26)
Shoppers snapping up last minute food bargains
Shoppers are wild about reduced price foods that are close to their explora...