Overcoming Remoteness: Innovations to Support Economic Development, Critical Minerals, and Security
8 July 2023
The infamous image of the Russian flag being planted on the seabed at the North Pole in 2007 and the Ilulissat meeting of the Arctic Five (Canada, Russia, USA, Denmark/Greenland, and Norway) in 2008 came when benchmark oil prices were hitting a peak of $147/barrel. [...] In order for the Arctic to become a realistic source of the critical minerals the West needs to support the energy transition and reduce its dependence on illiberal and unstable sources, the investment landscape will need to shift significantly. [...] Solutions for Remoteness in Energy, Transportation, and Communications The above sections have posited that the condition of remoteness has consequential impacts on economic development, and this is affecting not only the well-being and prosperity of northerners in the North American Arctic, but also the ability of the region to produce the critical minerals needed for the energy transition. [...] And they avoid the large footprint and disruption to migratory species such as a caribou – essential for northern food security and culture – that roads often cause, not to mention the incredible costs of remediating the road once the life of the mine has ended. [...] But in general, the more valuable the product, the shorter the mine’s lifespan, the longer the distance from existing transportation infrastructure to the deposit, and the bigger the cargo payload, the more competitive airships become.