Arctic melt are tons of free natural resources

19.03.2012 – Arctic melt are tons of free natural resources

Eldorado am Polarkreis: The dwindling ice frees valuable ores. Only in the south of Greenland store estimated 6,5 Million tonnes of rare earths.

Global warming makes Greenland's glaciers and melting sea ice off the coast of the Arctic island more quickly. Thus, the retreats of polar bear, Musk ox, Arctic wolves and whales threatened.

Confirm the dramatic melting ice satellite observations over the past decades. Even up to two miles thick is melting Inlandeisdecke. According to a recently published study by scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, they could within 500 Years lost by a fifth in mass.

Is the trend so on, Greenland would be in 2000 Completely ice-free years. What environmentalists around the world met with concern, leaves many of the meager living by fishing and some tourism almost 60.000 Greenlanders hope to prosper.

The receding ice makes the rich natural resources of the island accessible. Apart from ores such as uranium, Zinc, Iron ore, Kupfer und Gold bergen die uralten Gesteine Grönlands auch große Mengen der als Rare earth bezeichneten Metalle, including lanthanum, Heaven, Neodymium, Praesodymium, Terbium Yttrium und.

Because of their special properties they are used in mobile phones, Laptops, Flat panel displays, Fuel Cells, LED lights, Motors for electric cars and in laser technology are used to form the material basis for all high-tech industries.

So far, come 97 Percent of the strategically important metals from China, which has one of the richest deposits of rare earths. A monopoly, has in the eyes of the international community led to rationing and massive unilateral price increases in commodity markets. Now, the European Union, the United States and Japan to sue the counterparty China before the tribunal of the World Trade Organization.

The monopolist may soon have some competition. In the largely ice-free southern Greenland, in a hilly area, in the retreating glaciers of a Martian landscape bare rock, Have debris and rubble left behind, is the Kvanefjeld. For the area, the company based in Western Australia Minerals and Energy Green land acquired exploration licenses and test drilling conducted.

Result: At least 6,5 Million tonnes of rare earths lie dormant in the rock, the company estimates. In addition, large quantities of uranium are. That impressed not only the stock market and pushed the share price of the small company sometimes to dizzying heights. "This is one of the largest rare-earth deposits in the world", , the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) established in Hanover, in a report.

Very early stage

And that's not all. "More important by-products of zinc could, Zirconium, Lithium, Beryllium and its sodium fluoride ", the BGR experts. They estimate the total deposits of ore deposits on the Kvanefjeld 457 Million tons. It includes rare-earth metals in the form of oxidized compounds with a salary of just over one percent in the rock. This corresponds to approximately 4,9 Million tons, which is slightly less, was specified as the company.

Faced with a global demand of current 190.000 Tons per year would be sufficient inventories but, around the world for at least a quarter of a century to provide them with the coveted commodities.

But the costs are high: Well 2,3 Billion would be invested in technology, to promote the treasures of the soil and releasing it from the rock, Australians value the. You've already "made significant progress in the treatment of minerals and efficiency improvements". The BGR but experts expect, that the project is still at a very early stage.

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The prospect of huge natural resources are attracting more and more exploration companies on the island. Geologists know their, that the Greenland rocks are among the oldest in the world, and are known for their abundance of high quality iron ore.

Before dawn, the continued abundant in the waters of the ocean dissolved iron in layers on the seabed and solidified to become rocks. They are known for their striped appearance as Bändererze. So vast deposits of magnetite formed, a mixed oxide of two- and trivalent iron. Inclusions with 25 Ton lump of metallic iron were in the up to 3,8 Billion years old Greenland rocks found.

Promises rich pickings, therefore, the British company London Mining. It was purchased by the Government of Greenland the mineral rights for the region around the Isua peninsula, the 150 Kilometers north of the capital Nuuk on the west of the island, and where test drilling conducted. Expertise including the Society for the Study of iron ore - a research service of the German steel industry - in the samples to have an iron content of about 70 Percentage point.

High-purity iron ore

The British company expects the total exploration area around 950 Million tons of high-purity iron ore. Actually, the reduction should begin this year. But it still lacks the necessary technical equipment, accurate: the money for it. Two to 2,5 Billion estimated cost of the London Mining. "The Chinese steel industry has already expressed serious interest in the project", says Graeme Hossie, CEO of the company.

A hint, hint. The European Union is concerned with the outbreak of the raw noise in Greenland: If the only loosely associated with Denmark, largely autonomous political, underdeveloped country for assistance, and how serious the concerns of environmentalists?

For their violent protest recently saw the announcement of Canada's Quadra Mining Company, in the north-east Greenland Malmbjerg molybdenum deposits rich in a national park area to reduce. Of the Greenland Government, the project was then halted, for the time being.

The controversial project includes the construction of a large aluminum smelter. This requires not only huge amounts of, but also the most cost-effective electrical power needed. For Greenland would be no problem. The melting glaciers provide cheap hydroelectric power in abundance. But that's still pie in the sky.

Not only on land, in the waters off Greenland, the treasure hunt is in full swing. Skyrocketing energy prices and increasingly long ice-free season to make the costly production of oil and natural gas in Arctic waters lucrative. Of which Greenland is already benefiting.

"Since 2002 we have 36 Exploration licenses for oil- and gas production company with award, alone 20 this year ", sagt Hans Kristian Olsen. The manager ran the business by Nunaoil, one state-owned enterprises, The money earned by the award of exploration rights. Large energy companies are in his snake: Cairn Energy, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Dong E&P, It, GDF Suez, Husky Energy, Maersk Oil, P. A. Resources, Petronas, Shell, Statoil:

Occurrence is not productive enough

They are all looking for oil and gas in Greenland. The companies share four exploration areas off the west coast, taken together, represent an area of 71.000 Square kilometers, covering. This is as big as the Free State of Bavaria.

Still, most projects have gone beyond seismic studies. A few exploration wells have provided the first results. They do not always fall out satisfactorily. Although the Scottish oil company Cairn Energy up to the northwest of Greenland to Melville Sub Basin oil already found. But the occurrence is not productive enough, exploited in order to be economically.

The Olsen can not spoil the optimism. He relies entirely on climate change in Greenland and energy resources: "When the retreating sea ice transport over the North East- Northwest Passage and provides all year round, will reduce the cost. "
Those: Welt Online

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