Tolerance and mining of Greenland’s uranium – a case study from Narsaq

    Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


    This paper discusses how the government of Greenland discursively went from no-tolerance to a position as the ones promoting tolerance towards uranium mining in Greenland. The Coalition Agreement of the new Government of Greenland from Marts 2013 states that:
    “The 0-tolerance policy for minerals containing uranium will be abolished, though the abolition will be contingent upon securing public health, nature and environment from risks.”
    With these words the new government of Greenland is ready to drop Greenland’s and Denmark's 25-year ban on uranium mining. This has raised an ongoing debate in Greenland as well as in the international press.
    With a multi-sited analytical focus on important communicative events, the paper will primarily incorporate knowledge and experiences from a continuing ethnographic case study in Narsaq - a community close to Greenland’s potentially biggest mine of REE and uranium. This paper discusses: Who are the local ‘voices’ in the discussion about whether or not Greenland should mine its uranium, and what framed and limited the Greenlandic uranium policy 25 years ago and now? What is the status of the Greenlandic mineral policy today? This paper argues that we all seem embedded in discussions about the mining and use of uranium and this delicate issue seems to penetrate not only Greenland’s corporation with Denmark but potentially also discussions on risk, tolerance, ecology and global natures as such.

    Keywords: Greenland, mining, uranium, multi-sited ethnography, local–global natures, Greenland, Narsaq

    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date12 Oct 2013
    Number of pages5
    Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2013
    EventHeritage and Change in the Artic - University of Greenland, Nuuk, Greenland
    Duration: 11 Oct 201314 Oct 2013


    ConferenceHeritage and Change in the Artic
    LocationUniversity of Greenland

    Cite this