Greenland has reportedly withdrawn the licence of China-based coal mining firm General Nie for the Isua iron-ore project located 150km north-east of Nuuk.

The licence has been cancelled due to inactivity at the mine site and failure by the firm to make guarantee payments, reported Reuters citing a government statement.

Greenland Resources Minister Naaja Nathanielsen was cited by the news agency as saying: “We cannot accept that a licence-holder repeatedly fails to meet agreed deadlines.”

General Nice has been requested by the Greenlandic Government to return all geological data related to the mine and clean up the mining area.

In addition, the government has also directed the Chinese firm to make the remaining payment of kr1.5m.

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Once the licence is handed back to the government, it will be offered to other interested companies, according to Reuters.

General Nice acquired the Isua mine project in 2015 from London Mining Greenland, a wholly owned subsidiary of London Mining Greenland.

Obtaining the Isua exploitation licence in 2013, London Mining went bankrupt in 2014 due to a drop in iron ore prices.

The firm initially planned to produce 15 million metric tonnes of iron ore a year and employ 2,000 Chinese workers for the project’s construction.

However, it could not get adequate funding to support the project.

Earlier this month, Greenland passed a bill restricting mining and exploration of uranium.

The move has effectively put brakes on the development of the Kuannersuit mine (Kvanefjeld), which is owned by Australian mining firm Greenland Minerals.