As more and more mining operations open up the unexplored frontiers of Greenland’s rugged landscape, the demand for a safe and effective way to dispose of mining waste is increasing. At Inciner8, we’re helping to lead the way in pioneering incineration solutions.
The growth of mining in Greenland
When most people think about mining, images of coal mines or off-shore oil rigs spring to mind, or large diamond mines in Sub-Sahara Africa perhaps. But increasingly, Greenland is the epicentre of the latest mining developments.
The island is about 80% ice, but with climate change and global warming, the melting ice is revealing the rock underneath; rock that’s full of minerals and rare elements.
In fact, there are over 56 active licenses to explore Greenland for deposits of minerals, metals and gemstones. Beneath its surface, there are large reserves of:
- And Diamonds
Why mine in Greenland?
There are several reasons why Greenland has attracted the interests of mining companies and foreign investment in the last decade.
One of the main factors in its growth is the quality of raw material – and the potential for return. Offshore samples of ilmenite (titanium-iron oxide), for example, show up to 90% of the mineral in situ, which is practically unheard of.
A mining site at Kvanefjeld contains the largest amount of rare earths in the world, high-grade mineral sand and the second-biggest source of uranium across the globe.
The Greenland government also overturned a ban on uranium mining in 2013, making it especially attractive. Authorities see mining as a new profitable revenue stream for the country and the economy as whole.
And the country is stable – unlike some Sub-Saharan countries – with large capacity for mining. Rare earth elements from a site in Tanbreez could be used for solar panels, wind turbines and mobile phones, whilst a proposed second mine in Kvanefjeld would deliver a 320 million tonne capacity for uranium, fluoride and thorium (as well as rare earth minerals).
The need for effective mine waste disposal
But there are still challenges for mining in Greenland.
The country has limited skilled labour, and a minimal infrastructure. Locals rely on each other, rather than a nationwide infrastructure or support system.
The environments can be extreme too, with mines only operational in certain months of the year due to harsh weather and the lack of daylight.
There are also local concerns and opposition too, around radioactive fall-out and waste disposal.
But good waste disposal techniques protect the environment and support the infrastructure around them. They reassure locals of your commitment to their towns and landscapes. And they help change the perception of mining.
That’s why safe, effective incineration can be a huge asset to mining companies in Greenland.
And we’re leading the way with efficient mobile incinerators for mining operations and mining communities.
The benefits of incineration for mining in Greenland
Incinerators provide an effective means of waste disposal for mining operations. They:
- Can be delivered and installed quickly to new sites, up and running right away – ideal for areas lacking infrastructure
- Are easy to load and operate, great for supporting local jobs in Greenland
- Showcase a commitment to the environment and safe waste disposal
- Are mobile, and can be easily moved to new locations.
We’re focused on new and innovative solutions for our incinerators and are committed to helping the mining sector in Greenland.
For Xploration Services Greenland, we delivered a mining incinerator that was capable of handling all types of waste material – so one machine could safely incinerate household waste from the mining camp and waste from the mining process.
We’ve even pioneered waste to energy incinerators, producing heat or electricity locally from the energy generated during incineration. This is a huge asset for camps that are situated in remote areas of Greenland and need to be self-sufficient.
Our mobile incinerators are also a huge help to mining operations. Many sites are low volume – because of the high concentration of minerals in the ground. That means operations are kept to a minimum, which in turn negates the need for a large infrastructure or large permanent machinery.
In this case, small, efficient mobile incinerators are the perfect support option for low-scale operations.