St-Georges Eco-Mining Corp, a Canadian mining company, has now acquired all the exploration licenses for gold in Iceland. The company announced this acquisition themselves, which was later confirmed by Business Day, and the hunt for gold in Iceland goes back a long ways.
The press release, sent by Montréal-based St-Georges, states that the company “has completed the acquisition of Melmi EHF, the Icelandic corporation that owned the majority interest in the Thor Gold Project and the remainder or the Icelandic mineral licenses not already controlled by St-Georges.”
Business Day further clarifies that “[t]he Canadian miner holds all exploration licenses for gold in Iceland after acquiring local corporation Melmi Ehf in October. … The company holds exploration permits for gold, silver and copper in three locations in Iceland and has applied for 11 more licenses. The Thormodsdalur endeavour will be funded through debt and private placement on the Canadian Securities Exchange.”
Plumbing Þormóðsdalur for gold has been going on since at least early 2013. Further investigations towards the end of the year revealed greater quantities of the metal than was originally expected. Further exploration in the area around Vopnafjörður, in the northeast, began in 2016.
Concerns about the environmental impact of mining in Iceland have been brought up before, but St-Georges has insisted that they practice “eco-mining”, as their name suggests. Vilhjálmur Þór Vilhjálmsson, the CEO of St-Georges, told Business Day that “Our emphasis will be on making the most eco-friendly and socially responsible gold in the world,” adding that they plan to utilise Iceland’s green energy for the project, emphasising, “Our ideology is about making minimal disturbances to the ground.”
However, Grant Sporre, a senior analyst for metals and mining at Bloomberg Intelligence, told Business Day that he has his doubts about the very idea of “green mining”, pointing out that there is no established standard for what qualifies as “green gold”.
Further, there is the question of concentrations of gold in any one location being high enough to make mining for gold profitable in the first place. As it is now, the project is still in the exploratory stages; it has yet to be determined whether the veins found will be large enough to justify a full-scale mining project.
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