Nearby Wind, Solar Could Decarbonize 35% of Greenland Molybdenum Mine: COWI Report

Dec. 20, 2023
According to COWI, wind and solar energy production near the project is capable to decarbonize about 35 percent of total power consumption to provide an approximately 33 MW of peak power.

Canadian-based mining firm Greenland Resources is reacting positively to a new renewable energy report from London-based engineering consultant COWI indicating that nearby wind and solar generation can provide 35 percent of power for the company’s critical mineral Malmbjerg Molybdenum Project in Greenland. 
The COWI Report concluded that a mix of onshore wind and solar energy production available near the mine site is capable of providing a carbon-free resource for about one-third of total power consumption to provide an approximately 33 MW of peak power.
The remaining 15 percent of the total power consumption can be decarbonized with carbon capture technologies or alternative green fuel, according to the company. The report also estimated economics and investigated the owned and leased model.

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“Over 3,100 wind turbines were manufactured last year in Denmark, each of them containing over 100 kg of molybdenum per MW installed capacity, which makes Denmark one of the largest per capita users of molybdenum worldwide,” said Executive Chairman, Dr. Ruben Shiffman. “Overall, our project has the potential to supply 25% of total molybdenum demand in and for the EU.”
Heavy industry, which can include steel, cement and chemicals, generates close to 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions globally, according to a June 2021 report by the Brookings Institution. The heavy industrials are researching and trying to develop ways to decarbonize their energy-dense processes and reach broader net zero goals.
Molybdenum is a chemical element which is utilized as a metal alloy, including in stainless steels, cast irons, tool metals, chemicals and other high-strength metallurgical products. The ore is not usually found as a free metal but mainly in various oxidation states in other minerals.
An aerial rope conveyer which uses gravity and requires no energy input will aid in the decarbonization of the project, according to reports. The conveyer transports 35,000 tons of ore per day from the mine site to the processing facilities using gravity, which requires no energy input and thus generates no carbon emissions and generates electricity from braking.
The Malmbjerg Molybdenum Project is an open pit mine project expected to hold proven and probable reserves of about 245 million metric tons, according to a 2022 feasibility study with TetraTech. If the mine’s early stages can produce the expected 32 million pounds of molybdenum metal, that would total close to a quarter of annual European Union consumption.