Richard (Rick) Mills
Ahead of the Herd
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As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information
Greenland is located in the North Atlantic Ocean adjacent to the Canadian arctic archipelago. About 80 per cent of Greenland is ice cap that can be up to 3kms thick. Approximately one-twentieth of the world's ice and one-quarter of the earth's surface ice is found in Greenland – the ice-free zone around the ice cap is up to 300 kms wide and covers an area of 410,000 km² (area of Germany is 357,000 km).
Norsemen settled on the uninhabited southern part of Greenland in the 10th century.
“The descendants of the Vikings had persevered in their North Atlantic outpost for almost 500 years, from the end of the 10th century until the mid-15th century. The Medieval Warm Period had made it possible for settlers from Norway, Iceland and Denmark to live on hundreds of scattered farms along the protected fjords, where they built dozens of churches and even had bishops.” Günther Stockinger, Abandoned Colony in Greenland: Archaeologists Find Clues to Viking Mystery
Greenland has been inhabited, on and off, by Arctic peoples for up to 5,000 years. The Thule are the prehistoric ancestors of the current Greenlandic Inuit population. They left Alaska about 1000 AD and arrived in Greenland, via dogsleds (usually made of driftwood with whalebone runners) and umiaks (large whaling and travelling boats constructed with a frame of walrus ribs covered with walrus hide), in the 13th century.
The Norse colonies had disappeared by 1500 AD, beaten by a cool climate turned much colder by the Little Ice Age – a period of cooling extending from about 1350 to roughly 1850.
According to radio-carbon dating of plant material it was almost the geological equivalent of turning off a light switch. Between 1275 and 1300 AD summers suddenly turned very cold, seas normally open froze over and glaciers started their inexorable advance. Between 1430 and 1455 AD the cold intensified substantially.
Contact was re-established between Scandinavia and Greenland in the early 18th century and Denmark established rule over Greenland.
In 1979, Denmark granted home rule to Greenland. In 2008, Greenland voted to transfer more power from the Danish royal government to the local Greenlandic government. This became effective the following year. The 2009 Act on Greenland Self-Government gave Greenlanders authority over a number of new sectors including mineral resource activities.
Copenhagen remains constitutionally responsible for Greenland’s foreign, defense and security policy.
As previously mentioned approximately 80 percent of Greenland is covered by ice with the exposed area forming a fringe around the coast. These non ice covered coastal areas - geological terrain that is simply an extension of the Canadian Shield - expose numerous mineral belts that are highly prospective for gold, lead, zinc, uranium, molybdenum, copper, tantalum and niobium, iron ore, nickel, several forms of industrial minerals, platinum group elements (PGE),diamonds, cobalt, rubies and rare earth elements (REEs).
As competition from the developing world pushes up the price of energy and minerals finding new sources of supply is crucial.