The government of Greenland has waved mineral exploration licence obligations and expenditures through to the end of the year, as part of emergency relief it is providing to the mining sector amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The 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.
In a statement, the Mineral Resources Authority says it is monitoring the global Covid-19 situation, and understands the resulting challenges for the mineral resources industry.
“With zero exploration obligations for 2020, the Mineral Resources Authority and the government of Greenland aim to help companies operating in Greenland to retain their projects in these challenging market conditions.”
Further to the approved zero obligations, the authorities are working on two more mitigating initiatives to help the licensees. One of the initiatives is to postpone the licensees’ obligations to pay the administrative case handling expenses for their exploration and exploitation licence administration. The second initiative is to temporarily, partially or fully, reimburse the funds held in escrow for clean-up and environmental monitoring.
These initiatives are not yet approved and decisions on these are expected by April 19.
Canada-listed Hudson Resources president Jim Cambon thanked the Greenland government for the initiative and said that it reinforced the country’s position as “one of the best jurisdictions in the world to work in”.
Hudson, thus, would not have any expenditure obligations for its Sarfartoq rare-earth elements and niobium licence.
The company stated that it hoped to re-initiate exploration activities at Sarfartoq later in 2020 with a focus on the high-grade niobium targets, but this would be dependent on the restrictions and implications of the pandemic.
At the operational White Mountain anorthosite mine, limited activities were ongoing, but under strict controls with no travel allowed in, or out, of the mine.
“Hudson is unable to make a definitive plan for the reopening of production at this time as a result of the global pandemic.”