Key developments in 2019 included substantial reductions in both capital and operating costs for Kvanefjeld to demonstrate a highly competitive cost structure.
Major progress was also made in finalising the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), a key component of project permitting.
GML is well-funded with a cash position of $8.6 million as at December 30, 2019.
Major shareholder with rare earth proficiency
Shenghe Resources Holding Co Ltd (SHA:600392), GML’s largest shareholder and strategic partner, has worked collaboratively with GML to add value and maximise the Kvanefjeld project’s potential.
Shenghe chairman Hu Zesong sees Kvanefjeld as the third major rare earth mine outside China, with its enrichment in neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium elevating its significance.
Importantly, the significance of a major shareholder that has full proficiency across the rare earth value chain and, in particular, in downstream rare earth separation, is a huge advantage and a major benefit for GML.
GML–Shenghe meetings in Denmark
In early December 2019, GML managing director Dr John Mair joined a delegation from Shenghe to participate in the Confederation of Danish Industry’s Greenland‐focused conference, held in Copenhagen.
Shenghe chairman presented an overview to a cross-section of industry, government and media representatives from Greenland and Denmark on the outlook for the rare earth sector, Shenghe’s international growth strategy and significant role the Kvanefjeld project can play.
The visit to Denmark also provided the opportunity for a productive meeting of the Shenghe/GML delegation with Greenland’s Minister for Mineral Resources, Vittus Qujaukitsoq, to discuss the forward strategy for the Kvanefjeld project.
Kvanefjeld - key attributes
GML is at the forefront of a strategic evolution in rare earth supply. Rare earth demand is set to surge extensively owing to advances in technology and the critical role of rare earths.
Major changes are coming to global rare earth supply, with China looking to cap primary production in 2020, at a point when demand is set to surge.
Kvanefjeld has a number of key attributes that, when integrated with Shenghe’s downstream processing technology and capacity, can play an important role in new supply networks. These include:
- Scale – largest code‐compliant rare earth resource, ore reserve for initial 37‐year mine life;
- Simple mining with 1:1 strip ratio over initial 37‐year mine life;
- Multiple by‐product revenue streams to strengthen project economics (uranium, zinc, fluorspar);
- Rare earth minerals that allow for simple processing, which will be maximised by technical optimisation underway with Shenghe;
- Strong economic metrics - low capital intensity and operating costs in a positive global macro environment; and
- Favourable country and project location with ice‐free direct shipping access, international airport nearby.