Why You Should Care About Greenland's General Election
Although it took place early last month, the winning party is preparing to change the balance of power in the materials export industry, affecting production of electronics worldwide.
Kecia Lynn has worked as a technical writer, editor, software developer, arts administrator, summer camp director, and television host. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is currently living in Iowa City and working on her first novel.
What's the Latest Development?
Last month, just over half of Greenland's 57,000 residents participated in general elections for national offices. The social democratic Siumut party won with 43 percent of the vote, beating the ruling socialist Inuit Ataqatigiit party by 9 percent. Siumut's leader, Aleqa Hammond, became the country's first female prime minister. Both parties ran on pro-mining platforms, but Hammond won voters over by promising to lift a ban on extracting uranium and to force companies to pay larger royalties to the government.
What's the Big Idea?
Greenland has long been home to vast resources of minerals, including rare earth metals commonly used in electronic devices. However, many of those minerals are combined with uranium. Additionally, with the melting of the ice cap, more resources are becoming available for mining. Currently China dominates the rare earth market, but has recently restricted its exports, causing a corresponding rise in prices. If, as Hammond promises, the ban on extracting uranium is lifted, Greenland could become an alternative source for materials that will help manufacturers meet increasing product demand in coming years.
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