After acquiring the world’s largest historic cryolite mine in southwest Greenland earlier this year, Eclipse Metals (ASX: EPM) has welcomed the region’s new coalition government saying its environmental platform was “well aligned” with the company’s initiatives.
Following a national election earlier this month, Greenland’s Inuit Ataqatigiit Party has formed government in coalition with Naleraq Party.
Eclipse noted that since winning the election, the Inuit Ataqatigiit Party has publicly stated it is supportive of responsible mining, but its policy would exclude uranium extraction.
The company added the incoming government’s environmental policies were similar to its own with the Ivittuut project.
Eclipse acquired Ivittuut back in January this year. The project previously hosted the world’s largest known minable resource of naturally occurring cryolite.
The historic cryolite mine operated between 1865 and 1985, and about 3.8 million tonnes of high grade cryolite was extracted for export.
As well as cryolite, the Ivittuut project tenement covers undeveloped mineral resources including a large rare earth element-bearing carbonatite deposit.
Eclipse’s evaluation of past drilling has identified substantial resources of cryolite and fluorite plus a large high-grade quartz body.
Presently, Eclipse is assessing the project’s potential for an operation that produces quartz, cryolite-fluorite and iron-zinc.
Eclipse executive chairman Carl Popal said the company would work with the new government to develop the project.
“Ivittuut is an industrial mineral and REE project, with no uranium mineralisation.”
Mr Popal pointed out the project has been mined for more than 120 years and is not located near an urban or farming setting.
“We look forward to exploring its potential and working with the new government to develop a new mine or mines in this part of Greenland,” he added.
Cryolite and high-grade quartz potential
The mineral cryolite is rare and is primarily sourced as a fluxing agent to reduce energy consumption during aluminium production.
Until its close, Ivittuut provided the only industrial-scale source of cryolite material.
Meanwhile, with the discovery of the high-grade quartz, Eclipse is looking to become a near-term supplier to the electronic, solar, optical and silicon metal industries.