Some of the most notable billionaires on the planet have recently invested a lot of money to explore Greenland in the hopes of unearthing rare minerals needed for electric cars, and many are crediting so-called climate change for the opportunity.
Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, and Jeff Bezos have each invested heavily in Kobold Metals, a mineral exploration start-up company based in California. Kobold Metals, in turn, has partnered with Bluejay Mining in the effort to explore remote areas of Greenland that may have a treasure trove of the minerals needed for electric vehicles.
“We are looking for a deposit that will be the first or second-largest most significant nickel and cobalt deposit in the world,” said Kurt House, CEO of Kobold Metals.
So far, 30 people — including geologists, geophysicists, cooks, pilots and mechanics — have ventured to Disko Island and Nuussuaq Peninsula along the southwestern coast of the country's mainland in search of those deposits and others.
Until recently, these areas of Greenland have been inaccessible to miners because ice prevented them from shipping the heavy equipment they needed to do their jobs. But higher temperatures, which some attribute to man-made climate change, have caused some of this ice to melt, freeing waterways through which mining companies can transport equipment.
“It is a concern to witness the consequences and impacts from the climate changes in Greenland,” Bluejay Mining CEO Bo Møller Stensgaard said. “But, generally speaking, climate changes overall have made exploration and mining in Greenland easier and more accessible.”
Mike Sfraga, the chair of the United States Arctic Research Commission, also added, "As these trends continue well into the future, there is no question more land will become accessible and some of this land may carry the potential for mineral development."
Inhabitat, a website that claims to cover "environmental news and the latest in sustainable design," claims that the ice reserves found in the ice shelves of Greenland have recently been melting at a faster rate than they did in the previous 12 millennia. If so, and if these climate changes are the result of human behaviors, then the climate "crisis" man has caused may have permitted man the means of combatting it by offering other mineral sources that will be used to build more electric vehicles.
The Bluejay Mining experts are already busy taking soil samples and mapping out the area using drones and helicopters so that they can determine the spots that will provide them with the richest mineral yields.
The Greenland government insists that it supports both the mining venture and the efforts to protect the environment. "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.