A group of billionaires announced on Monday that it is funding a massive treasure hunt that will involve helicopters and transmitters on the west coast of Greenlandas climate change accelerates the melting process in the region.
The melting ice sheets are creating an opportunity for investors and mining companies that are looking for critical minerals, those of high relevance to the industry, capable of accelerating the transition to green energy.
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The group, which includes the likes of Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates, is betting that beneath the surface of the region’s hills and valleys there are enough critical minerals to power hundreds of millions of electric vehicles.
The possibility of finding this kind of material from Greenland highlights the irony of the situation: the region is ground zero for the impacts of climate change, but it could also become ground zero for obtaining critical minerals to provide solutions to the climate crisis. climate.
“We are looking for a deposit that will be the first or second largest nickel and cobalt deposit in the world,” Kurt House, CEO of Kobold Metals, a company receiving financial support from billionaires, told CNN.
Thirty geologists, geophysicists, cooks, drivers and mechanics are already camped in the region where the minerals can be found. The teams are taking soil samples and using drones and helicopters equipped with transmitters to measure the electromagnetic field underground and map the rock layers below.
With the help of artificial intelligence, the excavation is expected to begin in the middle of next year.
Melting ice in Greenland is exposing lands that have been covered in ice for centuries, but which could now become a site of potential mineral exploration. According to the Geological Survey of Denmark, the region could be a hotspot filled with coal, copper, gold, zinc and rare earth elements.
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According to the agency, the local government has carried out several “resource assessments across the ice-free land” and “recognises the country’s potential to diversify the national economy through mineral extraction.”
As billionaires are on the move, the Greenland thaw is of great concern to scientists. According to estimates, the region’s ice sheet could disappear within the next 20 to 30 years.