Recently, Greenland had parliamentary elections. Different news sources contradict each other:

Different headlines

Fox News: Opposition party keen on tapping underground resources wins ...

The Star: Opposition critical of minings wins Greenland election

From the actual articles, The Star writes:

NUUK (Reuters) - Greenland's main opposition leader, who campaigned on a platform of greater control and higher taxes of foreign miners, gained the biggest number of votes in a national parliamentary election, underscoring a backlash against the island's fast globalisation.

whereas Fox News writes:

An opposition centrist1 party that favors tapping Greenland's underground mineral wealth appears poised to win the Arctic country's parliamentary election.

A BBC News article describes:

The IA - headed by Prime Minister Kuupik Kleist - is in favour of importing cheap, foreign, mainly Chinese labour to mine iron ore.

Siumut - led by Aleqa Hammond - is opposed to the plan, which could see Greenland's population increase by 5%.

Now, I'm confused. What points of view do the different major political parties in Greenland have with regard to mining and control thereof?

1 I wonder if Fox News would describe a U.S. party that is a member of the Socialist International as centrist ;)

  • 1
    Also, can you explain what the BBC article's quote is lacking to answer your question?
    – user4012
    Mar 13, 2013 at 13:58

1 Answer 1


It is confused because this isn't nearly as "black and white" as the foreign media reports describe.

There isn't a "pro-mining" and "anti-mining" party in Greenland, it is a question of what mining, where, and how it is regulated and taxed.

IA is a "red-green" party with a pro-independence edge. So for IA, mining can be the income generator that enables financial independence from Denmark, and leads to full political independence. But it is also aware of its consequences for the environment (and financial for fisheries and particularly tourism)

Siumut is a more traditional social democrat/socialist/trade union party. Mining is a potential source of labour, but it wants regulation a tax system to avoid exploitation.

So Siumut might be in favour of some mining projects that IA opposes, and IA might be in favour of some forms of international cooperation that Siumut opposes.

You mention iron ore, but rare Earth and Uranium mining is perhaps more of an issue now. Uranium, in particular, as it has military applications, which puts it under the oversight of the Danish government.

Internal disputes of Rare Earth mining lead (in part) to the scism of Siumut between 2013 and 2021

For a 2013 perspective you could read https://www.plesner.com/insights/artikler/2013/06/recent%20election%20brings%20mixed%20results%20for%20mining%20companies?sc_lang=da-DK

And for updates from 2021 https://www.reuters.com/world/greenlands-left-wing-ia-party-forms-new-government-vows-block-rare-earth-mine-2021-04-16/

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