"With the recent surge in global oil and mineral prices ? and melting ice on land and sea improving access to potential reserves of both ? the prospects for Greenland 's independence have never looked better. 'If Greenland becomes economically self-sufficient, then independence becomes a practical possibility,' says Aleqa Hammond, minister for finance and foreign affairs in Greenland 's home-rule government, which already controls most of the island's affairs. 'We know that we have gold and diamonds and oil and great masses of the cleanest water in the world....It may be closer than we think.' Greenland is in the midst of renegotiating its relationship with Denmark , which has ruled the island since 1721. Talks were supposed to conclude last month, but have stalled on questions over ownership of the island's oil and mineral wealth." But, of course.