Uranium deposits will be explored in Greenland after Orano obtained two exploration permits. The operations authorized by the local government concern two areas, the southeast and the southwest of the island. Thus, Greenland has recently started mining activities on its soil.
Uranium deposits entrusted to the French group Orano
The exploration permits for the uranium deposits have been awarded to the French group Orano (formerly Areva) and will be launched in 2021. The aim is to evaluate and analyze the mining interest of the two zones. Orano has been active in the field of deposit exploration for 50 years, notably in Niger and in Canada.
Orano: a versatile company
Orano is also a company that is involved in all phases of nuclear energy production. This ranges from exploration to enrichment to recycling. This makes Orano a versatile company, meeting the criteria of the Greenland government.
According to Nicolas Maes, Orano’s Director of Mining Activities, the trust granted by the Greenlandic government is a testament to the group’s skills and experience. These agreements also demonstrate the company’s strong commitment to the environment. The Greenlandic government is very attached to these issues.
Greenland pursues its economic and environmental goals
The exploration of these uranium deposits is part of the development program of Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory. Indeed, the local authorities have decided to encourage the emergence of new exploration projects that will allow the exploitation of the country’s natural resources.
Nevertheless, and despite this agreement for the exploration of uranium deposits, the Greenlandic government does not neglect the importance of the ecological footprint. Exploration must be carried out in compliance with environmental standards.
Highly supervised explorations in compliance with environmental standards
The exploration will therefore be limited to measurements made from the sky, observations on the ground, and samples taken by geologists. Following the exploration phase, an environmental impact study and mineral potential assessments of the zones will be carried out. These studies will allow the evaluation of the feasibility of the operation.
Finally, it seems that the Greenlandic government wants to accomplish two objectives together. On the one hand, to promote the development of the territory through the exploration and exploitation of natural resources. Secondly, to limit its ecological footprint, through the obligations to respect environmental standards that it imposes on Orano.