Some of the world’s richest men are funding a massive treasure hunt, complete with helicopters and transmitters, on the west coast of Greenland.
The climate crisis is melting Greenland down at an unprecedented rate, which – in a twist of irony – is creating an opportunity for investors and mining companies who are searching for a trove of critical minerals capable of powering the green energy transition.
A band of billionaires, including Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates, among others, is betting that below the surface of the hills and valleys on Greenland’s Disko Island and Nuussuaq Peninsula there are enough critical minerals to power hundreds of millions of electric vehicles.
“We are looking for a deposit that will be the first- or second-largest most significant nickel and cobalt deposit in the world,” Kurt House, CEO of Kobold Metals, told CNN.
The Arctic’s disappearing ice – on land and in the ocean – highlights a unique dichotomy: Greenland is ground zero for the impacts of climate change, but it could also become ground zero for sourcing the metals needed to power the solution to the crisis.
The billionaire club is financially backing Kobold Metals, a mineral exploration company and California-based startup, the company’s representatives told CNN. Bezos, Bloomberg and Gates did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment on this story. Kobold is partnered with Bluejay Mining to find the rare and precious metals in Greenland that are necessary to build electric vehicles and massive batteries to store renewable energy.
Thirty geologists, geophysicists, cooks, pilots and mechanics are camped at the site where Kobold and Blujay are searching for the buried treasure. CNN is the first media outlet with video of the activity happening there.