There’s rare earths in them thar hills! Or somewhere else in Greenland.

How Greenland will prop up the world economy

By Mark Halper | January 23, 2013, 5:46 AM PST

By land mass Greenland is one of the largest countries in the world. Yet only 57,695 people live there, roughly the population of Dearborn Heights, a town in Michigan. And its historically massive ice sheet is melting.

That all adds up to one thing: easier access to vast reserves of minerals for the rest of the world.

The country and its 2.2 million square kilometers is full of subterranean riches, including rare earth metals that are crucial to products ranging from missiles to cars to smartphones and computers, and that many companies struggle to obtain. Today, China controls well over 90 percent of the international rare earth market, drawing a World Trade Organization probe prompted by U.S, European and Japanese complaints of unfair practices.

Companies outside China have been looking for ways around Beijing’s control, and one place they are eyeing is Greenland, which has the world’s second largest deposit of rare earths outside of China, according to the Epoch Times (Greenland has 9.16 percent of the global rare earth potential, the EU says).

Read more: How Greenland will prop up the world economy | SmartPlanet.

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