The race for Arctic riches is getting more crowded, with another player throwing its hat into the ring via Greenland as point of entry. According to a Reuters news story, a Korean state-owned company has inked an agreement with a Greenland mining firm “to seek opportunities for joint minerals projects, exploiting deposits of rare earths and other strategic metals” – a deal that “reflects growing Asian interest in the minerals of the North Atlantic island.”
Greenland has seen interest in its vast mineral resources perk up with recent visits from European Union officials and Chinese officials seeking cooperative agreements with the self-governing province of Denmark.
As American Resources principal Daniel McGroarty has pointed out:
For the U.S., our Arctic claims come via Alaska – a.k.a. Seward’s Folly, and perhaps the best $7.2 million ever spent by the U.S. Government. Across a range of metals and minerals, expect Alaska – and by extension, our Arctic claims – to play a key role in resource supply in the 21st century. Forget the folly: let’s make that William Seward, futurist.
With more and more potential stakeholders showing up in the Arctic, for the U.S. – and particularly when taking into account the benefits mineral exploration is already providing for the State of Alaska – fortifying its position on the Arctic stage and truly harnessing Alaska’s resource potential makes all the more sense.