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Kvanefjeld was granted preliminary approval last year

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Kvanefjeld, owned by Australian mining firm Greenland Minerals and located near the southern town of Narsaq, contains a large deposit of rare earth metals but also radioactive uranium which locals fear could harm the island’s fragile environment if extracted.

“What we know is that the background radiation in and around Narsaq is quite high, which means that the project will collide with the upcoming zero tolerance policy on uranium mining,” minister for mineral resources Naaja Nathanielsen told Reuters in an interview in the capital Nuuk.

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