Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 232

232 Arctic Yearbook 2014 at 56% and 37% respectively. In 2010 only 1% of export earnings were derived from the mining sector, although issuance of mineral licensees has increased from less than 20 in 2002 to slightly shy of 100 in 2012 (Nielsen 2012). In addition to minerals, the U.S. Geological Survey (2011) estimates that hydrocarbon deposits in West Greenland could reach 31.4 billion barrels of undiscovered oil, gas and natural gas liquids. If accessed, this would rank Greenland as the world’s 19th largest oil and gas producer. Although multinational interest is most often attributed to climate change, Mark Nuttall (2012: 25) points out that mounting interest over the last five to ten years is “largely a result of an active international marketing campaign by the Ministry for Industry and Mineral Resources,” alongside the Employee’s Association of Greenland which provides a link between Greenlandic and foreign businesses. To a large degree the Greenlandic government is banking on economic independence through largescale development. A 2013 amendment to the ‘Large-Scale Project Act’ stipulates that the expected value of the project must exceed DDK 5 billion. A primary goal of the Act is to regulate the employment of foreign workers during the construction stage. However, the global corporate law firm, Evershed (2013), notes that the amendment affords “foreign companies great opportunities to use their own collective bargaining agreements as the Act does not regulate, for example, overtime payments, holidays, etc.” At present, the prospect for large-scale projects is limited, although the much-publicized large-scale London Mining iron mine Isua project was recently approved and Australian Greenland Minerals and Energy (GME) Kvanefjeld uranium and rare earths project awaits approval in the near future. Isua, projected at a cost of approximately DKK 14 billion, is seeking investment from numerous global investors including the Chinese mining group Sichuan Xinye (McAlister 2014). It should be noted, however, that of the two firms contracted by London Mining to fulfill infrastructure requirements, one of these firms, Chinese Communications Construction Corporation (CCC), has been blacklisted by the World Bank on corruption charges for inflating the price of road-building projects elsewhere. Leonard McCarthy, VP of the World Bank’s corruption division said, “This is one of the most significant and far-reaching cases we know” (Nyvold 2013: 28). In the case of the proposed Kvanefjeld project, GME has partnered with China Nonferrous Metal Industry’s Foreign Engineering and Construction Co. Ltd. (Greenland Minerals 2014) with a projected capital cost of $810 million US (Greenland Minerals 2013). Even if large-scale development occurs to any great degree, 24 concurrent projects would be required to reduce block grant payments to zero, according to Hansen. Development projects of this magnitude would require e [