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Much is made of China “going green.” But maybe more attention should be paid to China going to Greenland. The island nation’s government is considering a $2.35 billion iron ore mining project backed by Chinese steelmakers that could bring in some 5,000 Chinese workers and would see around 15 million tonnes (16.5 million tons) of iron more shipped to China annually. It would be Greenland’s largest industrial development, bringing in more than its current annual GDP.

The Chinese are arriving just in time. Though Australian and Canadian companies currently dominate in exploration of Greenland’s natural resources, actual mining has been kept to a minimum so far.

No longer. Prime minister Kuupik Kleist sees extraction of Greenland’s abundant natural resources as a way to shake free of Denmark—the island of 57,000 people is a semi-autonomous territory. A bill passed in December introduced a framework to open up…

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