Environmental Impact Assessment and Mining in Greenland

Protection of the environment is high on the agenda in Greenland, and the Greenland Self-Government requires mining companies to carry out the EIA based on baseline studies from 2-3 years before mining operation can commence.

Environment – a key issue in mining

Environmental concern is a key issue for obtaining the exploitation permit. In this process, local knowledge about the harsh arctic conditions as well as the governmental regulations is vital in the course of preparing Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in Greenland. Doing the right things can save a lot of time and money and will reduce potential delays. Considering the environmental issues in the prefeasibility phase is essential when planning mining in Greenland.

Beginning the baseline study

A baseline study seeks to document the state of the environment prior to exploitation. Therefore, the baseline studies should be initiated early in the exploration process, simply because you need to collect samples from more than one season.

In collaboration with the Mineral Licence and Safety Authority (MLSA), the Environmental Agency for Mineral Resource Activities (EAMRA) and their advisors Greenland Institute of Natural Resources (GIRN) and Danish Centre for Environment and Energy (DCE), we have developed sampling programs for specific areas and specific projects. These scoping programs specify how, where, and when different types of studies shall be carried out.

Environmental Impact Assessment

The overall aim of the EIA is to identify, evaluate and minimise the environmental effects of a project. However, the purpose of the EIA is also to provide Greenlandic authorities and others stakeholders with information on the environmental impacts of the project including how the mining company intends to promote environmentally sound and sustainable solutions through the identification and implementation of mitigating measures.

In order to meet these aims, Orbicon proposes a proactive approach, which includes a very close dialogue between the mining company and the authorities throughout the entire EIA process. This, we believe, will be the most efficient way to ensure that the EIA will meet the requirements of the authorities and, thereby, smoothening the mining permitting process.

Throughout the EIA process, we draw heavily on our experience from EIA work of mining projects in Greenland as well as on large-scale EIA processes conducted in Denmark and abroad. These experiences include a long lasting working relation with the BMP and with the NERI who acts as the BMP advisor for all environmental matters.

Experience counts

You will not find a consultant with more experience in the environmental issues of mining in Greenland than Orbicon. As all know, experience matters, in fulfilling the requirements of the local government. If the studies are not carried out rightly, the approval process might be prolonged for another year, until you can commence your mining activity. We know how it works, and what have to be done to make the process going.

Selected references for mining companies in Greenland:

  • London Mining PLC, Isua Iron Ore Project, West Greenland
  • Greenland Minerals and Energy Ltd., The Kvanefjeld Multi Element Project, South Greenland
  • Tanbreez mining Greenland Ltd., The TANBREEZ Project at Kringlerne, South Greenland
  • Ironbark Zinc Ltd., The Citronen Fjord project, North Greenland
  • Bluejay Mining PLC, Dundas Ilmenite project

More Information

Read more about our expertise within environment and the black sand in Greenland.

Morten Christensen

+45 29 74 65 43