Editor's Note: Mining Journal is making some of its most important coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic freely available to readers. For more coverage, please see our COVID-19 hub. To subscribe to Mining Journal, click here
The recent decision covers all companies with exclusive mineral exploration licences in Greenland (including special exploration licences) regardless of the licence age and relates to expenditure obligations between January 1 and December 31, 2020.
With zero exploration obligations for the calendar year, the government's aim is to help companies operating in Greenland retain their projects in challenging market conditions.
Further to the approved zero obligations, government is also considering two further relief measures, the first being to postpone administrative case handling expenses and the second to temporarily, partially or fully reimburse the funds held in escrow for clean-up and environmental monitoring. A decision on both initiatives is expected by April 19.
The Greenland decision is a windfall for Canada's Hudson Resources, which owns the White Mountain (Qaqortorsuaq) anorthosite mine and the Sarfartoq rare earth elements and niobium exploration licence in the country. It doesn't have any further permitting obligations for 2020.
Hudson said it hoped to restart exploration activities at Sarfartoq later in 2020 with a focus on the high-grade niobium targets, dependent on the restrictions and implications caused by the pandemic.
At the White Mountain anorthosite mine, limited activities are ongoing, but under strict controls with no travel allowed in or out of the site. It could not say at this time when production would restart at White Mountain.