SYDNEY, AAP – The ambition of Australia’s Greenland Minerals to develop one of the world’s biggest rare earth minerals deposits is facing a hurdle.

The Greenland parliament on Wednesday passed legislation to ban uranium mining and stop the development of the company’s mine near Narsaq, a hamlet on the island’s southern tip, according to Reuters.

The Kuannersuit mine – also known as Kvanefjeld – contains a large deposit of rare earth metals used to make consumer electronics and weapons, as well as radioactive uranium.

Shares in Greenland were on Wednesday placed in a trading halt on the Australian Securities Exchange, pending an announcement due by Friday.

Greenland is an Indigenous, autonomous self-governing territory, which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, sitting between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans.

The law passed by its parliament was put forward by the Inuit Ataqatigiit party, which came to power in April.

It had campaigned on banning uranium mining and halting the Kuannersuit project on environmental grounds.

The new law bans the exploration of deposits with a uranium concentration higher than 100 parts per million, Reuters reports.

It also includes the option of banning the exploration of other radioactive minerals such as thorium.

Greenland Minerals, which has been operating on the island since 2007 after listing on the ASX in 2006, appeared to be on course for final approval for its mine under the previous island government.

On its website, Greenland Minerals touts the mine as having the potential to become the most significant western world producer of rare earth minerals.

“Rare earth products are forecast to generate over 80 per cent of the project’s revenue, with uranium, zinc and fluorspar by-products contributing to the balance,” it says.

China is the world’s major producer of rare earth minerals.