After general elections were held in Greenland on April 24, a new coalition government has come into power. It consists of four political parties, of which three have historically been pro-uranium and one has deferred to the new government's pro-uranium position. Together, they control 16 of the Parliament's 31 seats.
The former government, consisting of Siumut, Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA) and Partii Naleraq, had agreed to disagree on the uranium question and not make a decision on the controversial Kvanefjeld uranium / rare earths mining project, instead waiting for the outcome of the elections.
By returning to the government policies that led to the abolishment of the so-called uranium ban in 2013, it is now expected that the Kvanefjeld mining project will move forward after being stalled for almost two years. It is currently undergoing an EIA procedure. At least in the mid-term, it is the only viable uranium project on the agenda in Greenland. According to the owner, the Australian mining company Greenland Minerals and Energy Ltd. (GMEL), Kvanefjeld contains the second largest uranium deposit in the world. Only the deposit at the Olympic Dam uranium mine in South Australia is bigger. However, the Ilimaussaq-complex, of which Kvanefjeld is a part, is not yet fully explored.
In the latter part of 2016, the Danish Broadcasting Cooperation gained access to the draft of the Kvanefjeld EIA report under Greenland's Act on Transparency of Public Administration. Later, Greenland's biggest media outlet, Sermitsiaq/AG, and The URANI NAAMIK / NO TO URANIUM Society in Narsaq also applied. GMEL intervened and the government suspended access and decided to make it permanent.
However, in March 2017, a group of Greenlandic and Danish NGOs published the draft EIA together with an analysis of the draft by the Dutch expert Jan Willem Storm van Leeuwen. From his analysis, it was clear that the mining project would not meet Greenland's Mineral Resources Act's environmental and climate requirements.
In spite of the shift in government policies, Greenland's population is still split down the middle on the uranium question. At the recent opening of the Parliament's spring session, there were demonstrations in the capital, Nuuk, and in Narsaq, near Kvanefjeld. One of the speakers at the demonstration in Nuuk was Sara Olsvig, leader of IA, the biggest opposition party and the only political party that wants to bring back the uranium ban. The demonstrators and IA demand a referendum on uranium mining, before operations start at Kvanefjeld. A promise of a referendum was given by the then government in 2013, when the uranium ban was lifted.
More information (including the 2017 van Leeuwen report): https://noah.dk/uranium