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Greenland Minerals won't attend public meeting over rare earths project

MELBOURNE, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Greenland Minerals said on Tuesday it will not attend public meetings in the Danish territory this month to hear community concerns about its rare earths project citing the political nature of the meetings.

The Australian listed miner gained preliminary approval to develop its flagship Kvanefjeld project in the south of the territory last year and is now undergoing a public engagement process that runs until mid September.

The miner participated in community consultations in February but would not be attending meetings scheduled for August, it said in a securities filing.

A change in the meetings’ format that meant government departments supportive of the project would not attend would be “significantly prejudicial to the company,” it said.

In April, Greenland’s left-wing Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA) party announced a new government coalition and reiterated its plans to block the project.

After scaling seven-year highs in February, Greenland Minerals’ shares have fallen sharply since the new government took power and were 12% down on Tuesday.

Kvanefjeld contains a large deposit of rare earth metals, but also radioactive uranium, which some residents fear will harm the environment.

Mining companies have been pushing for rights to exploit rare earth deposits in Greenland, which the U.S. Geological Survey says has the world’s biggest undeveloped deposits of the metals used in everything from electric vehicle batteries to missiles.

Greenland Minerals said it was neither formally invited nor had a formal obligation to attend the meetings, which were scheduled primarily for politicians from the new government to discuss the project with communities.

The developer said it continued to respond to questions raised by the community and will address its concerns in a white paper that will be released following a broader consultation period. (Reporting by Melanie Burton Editing by Tomasz Janowski)

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