Social Impact Assessment (SIA)

Social Impact Assessment

The Act on Greenland Self-Government, which came into force on 21 June 2009, made it possible for the Greenland Self-Government  on the 1st of January 2010 to obtain the right to control and use mineral resources in the subsoil of Greenland by adopting the Mineral Resource Act.  The Mineral Resource Act contains certain provisions, which regulates the Socio-Economic/Socials Impacts from mineral resource activities.
Section 76 of the Mineral Resource Act stipulates that a social sustainability assessment (SSA) has to be conducted and a SSA Report has to be approved by the Government of Greenland before the Government of Greenland can approve mineral resource activities, which are assumed to have potential significant impacts on social conditions.  So far it is the following two mineral resource activities, which have been assumed to have potential significant impacts on social conditions:

  • Exploration drilling programme for hydrocarbon wells.
  • Constructing and operating mines.

Section 77 of the Mineral Resource Act stipulates that it is the applicant for the licence/approval, who must prepare an SSA Report.

The Social Impact Assessment Report (SIA Report)

The Mineral Resource Act states that the SSA Report must appropriately demonstrate, describe and assess the direct and indirect impacts of the activity on social conditions as well as the interaction between the conditions, mutual impact between and cumulative effects of the impact on the conditions. Besides this general requirement, Section 18 of the Mineral Resource Act contains provisions, which state that the Government of Greenland must lay down to what extent a mineral resource company (licensee):

  • Must use Greenland workers
  • Must use Greenland enterprises for contracts, supplies and services
  • Must process exploited mineral resources in Greenland.

As consequence of Section 18 of the Mineral Resource Act, the SIA Report shall, based on the conditions of Greenland’s businesses and of Greenland’s labour market’s at the time of applying, demonstrate to what extent the activities can be conducted with use of Greenland workers, Greenland enterprises and to what extent any processing of minerals can take place in Greenland.

The SIA Process

Pre-consultation (Draft ToR)
For benefit of securing early involvement of stakeholders in Greenland (e.g. Greenland workers and Greenland enterprises) an applicant who must conduct a social impact assessment, has to prepare a Draft Terms of Reference for the Social Impact Assessment.  The Draft Terms of Reference (Draft ToR) has to be submitted to the authorities, who subsequently will publish the Draft Terms of Reference for 35-day-long public consultation on the government’s website:  After the 35-day-long public consultation the applicant will based on possible submitted comments from stakeholders revise the Draft ToR and submit the revised ToR to the authorities for approval.

Drafting the Social Impact Assessment Report (SIA Report)
Subsequent to the approval of the ToR by the authorities the applicant can commence the Social Impact Assessment and thereby the process of drafting the Social Sustainability Report/Social Impact Assessment Report (SIA Report) can commence.

The Draft SIA Report will when it fulfils the minimum requirements be published for an 8-week-long public consultation on During the 8 weeks, public consultation meetings must be kept in towns and villages significantly affected by the mineral resource activities.  When the 8 weeks have passed, the applicant has to revise the SIA Report based on the comments submitted during the public consultation period and raised on the public consultation meetings.  Finally the applicant has to submit the revised SIA Report for approval by the government.

Further information:

Please see The Guidelines on the process and preparation of the SIA report for mineral projects

or contact

The Ministry of Industry, Labour, Trade and Energy
Imaneq 1A 301 
Postboks 1601 
3900 Nuuk
Phone: + 299 345 000