Greenland Minerals dealt setback in legal fight for rare earth project licence

(Reuters) - Australia’s Greenland Minerals Ltd said on Monday an arbitration tribunal had declined its request for interim orders against the Greenland government’s draft decision to reject the miner a licence for the Kvanefjeld rare-earths project.

The company had, in July, lodged an objection against the draft decision as it relied on a rule – which bans mining of ore bodies with uranium content of 100 parts per million (ppm) or greater – that is being contested separately in the court.

The tribunal ruled the interim orders requested would no longer serve their purpose of maintaining the status quo as the Greenland government had already rejected the miner’s licence application, Greenland Minerals said in a statement.

In March, the miner took the governments of Greenland and Denmark to court for the legislation passed last year that banned uranium mining, risking the development of the Kvanefjeld project.

More than 1 billion tonnes of mineral resources have been identified in the Kvanefjeld project area, with ore estimates of 108 million tonnes. It also contains radioactive uranium, which some locals are concerned would harm the environment.

Greenland Minerals said the tribunal made no findings on any other aspects of its case against the governments of Greenland and Denmark but that it “will continue to seek appropriate remedies in the arbitration.”

The company expects the government to soon issue a final decision rejecting its licence application, it added.

Greenland Minerals’ shares fell about 9.5%.

Reporting by Riya Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza