Billionaires’ Club Undertakes Treasure Hunt for Greenland Minerals

While adventurers have long coveted Greenland for its virgin cliffs and fiords, a wealthy group now seeks a more literal variety of treasure.

A mining company that draws support from notable billionaires has begun drilling in Greenland to search for minerals, CNN reported. The company, KoBold Metals, wants the minerals for powering a new generation of electric vehicles.

The climate crisis has created an urgent need for the cleaner energy that those minerals could provide. And company backers believe that Greenland contains one of the largest sources of nickel and cobalt anywhere.

However, in this case, the solution is also part of the problem. It’s precisely because of climate change’s impact on the fast-melting landscape that miners believe they can now reach these resources.

The irony won’t stop them from trying.

“We are looking for a deposit that will be the first- or second-largest most significant nickel and cobalt deposit in the world,” said Kurt House, CEO of KoBold Metals.

greenland cobalt mining

A KoBold Metals worker in Greenland. Photo: KoBold Metals

 

Billionaires back Greenland mining project

Several of the world’s richest people have backed KoBold Metals, including Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg, and Bill Gates. They want to mine parts of Greenland that have only emerged recently. Ice that covered the land for millennia has quickly melted away over the last few decades.

When the company first announced plans to drill in Greenland in March, Russia had just invaded Ukraine, adding additional weight to the mission. The invasion nearly doubled nickel prices as a result of sanctions against Russia. Russia supplies about 10 percent of the world’s nickel, Reuters reported.

“The recent unfortunate geopolitical developments clearly show that the Western world needs new deposits of these critical metals,” said Bo Steensgaard of Bluejay Mining, which is partnering with Kobold on the project.

Together, the two companies will mine the hills and valleys on Greenland’s Disko Island and Nuussuaq Peninsula, hoping to find enough minerals for powering millions of electric vehicles.

Greenland’s government says it’s “very keen” to see mining projects progress.

rocky Greenland scene

Western Greenland. Photo: Jerry Kobalenko