Hunting treasure – creatively

Welcome to our penultimate edition of North American Mining magazine for 2022. As autumn enters in the Northern Hemisphere and we all begin to think about year-end tasks, it was a natural transition for my mind to give pause to a crucial factor that drives many publications, arguably making or breaking its success: creativity.

What that means for you: we want your feedback! What are some hot topics you want to see covered by NAM in 2023? Have you heard a great operations story, or are you proud of a project your team has been working on? Let us know (see below for my email address). We’d love to feature the project or case study in this coming year’s print pages and online news. 

In short, we appreciate your time to let us know how we can make NAM even better as we step forward into a new year. Creativity is at the center of it all, so the stage is wide open for you, our readers.

On the news front, that mission for creativity has manifested itself into a treasure hunt, with the hunters being, well … not really who you would expect would take an interest. According to news reports in August, some of the richest men in the world have started up their helicopters and drones to hunt, on a massive scale, for critical minerals – in Greenland.

Names such as Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Michael Bloomberg, along with others, are hedging their bets on the areas beneath the surface of Disko Island and the Nuussuaq Peninsula of Greenland for nickel, cobalt and other materials needed for the future of electric vehicles. Kobald Metals CEO Kurt House even told CNN that his group is hoping to locate a deposit that will be the first or second largest most significant nickel and cobalt deposit on Earth. While the billionaires claim that it is climate change and the disappearance of glaciers that has offered this hunting opportunity and, removing the potential politicization of this turn of events, you still have to hand it to these individuals for thinking outside the box.

It is not lost on the country of Greenland that this treasure hunt has come to its shores; it has long known about its resource potential. In fact, the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland said there is also coal, copper, gold, rare-earth elements and zinc potential within its borders, per land testing it has done already: “[The government] recognizes the country’s potential to diversify the national economy through mineral extraction.”

Mike Sfraga, the chair of the United States Arctic Research Commission, told CNN and others in its report on the hunt that its pro-mining position does not exclude any regard for the environment, as that is at the core of its culture and its livelihood.

“The government of Greenland supports the responsible, sustainable and economically viable development of their natural resources to include mining of a broad range of minerals,” Sfraga said.

Making these kinds of opportunities fodder for political rhetoric is not new. We’ve seen it before, and we’ll see it again. But looking at this for what it is – a chance to help solve what is already becoming a significant issue, that being the shortage of critical minerals needed to carry us into a more sustainable future – helps put to center stage what creativity in mining can do.

Donna Schmidt
Editor, North American Mining magazine
[email protected]
(740) 624-4642
Twitter: @Dschmidt_NAM

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