Voters in Greenland have rejected a government that backed a controversial rare earths mining project, handing victory to an opposition left-green party for only the second time since the island gained home rule from Denmark in 1979.
Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA) won 36.6 per cent of the vote in a result likely to be closely watched by the US and China amid a geopolitical fight over the future of the Arctic.
The snap elections were sparked by political division over the Kvanefjeld mining project in the south of the world’s largest island where there are large deposits of rare earths – used in smartphones, wind turbines and fighter jets – but also radioactive uranium.
IA has campaigned against the Kvanefjeld project for years because of the presence of uranium but otherwise supports mining and potentially oil exploration as a way for Greenland to win independence from Denmark.
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