The Nordic region has a great potential as a supplier of critical metals and minerals

Published 17-09-2021

A new report from Nordic Innovation under the Nordic Council of Ministers shows that the Nordic region has a large, untapped potential as a sustainable supplier of the raw materials the world needs in the green transition. The Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) has contributed to the report.

The report was produced in close collaboration between the Nordic geological surveys and other public institutions and is the first combined description of the mineral potential in the Nordic region. The report maps the potential for resources as well as production of critical raw materials in the Nordic region with a particular focus on the raw materials, which are important in relation to the green transition. The report also gives a number of recommendations on how to strengthen this area in the Nordic region. In collaboration with the Ministry of Mineral Resources of the Government of Greenland, GEUS has contributed to the report focusing on the raw material potential of Greenland, since the mineral resources in Denmark are not relevant in this context.

Independent and sustainable utilization of raw materials

In Denmark, the green energy production makes up 30 % of the total energy production. But the green transition requires price competitive raw materials for the production of wind turbines, solar cells, electric cars, batteries, etc. Some of these key raw materials are defined as critical by the EU and only a small part can be obtained through recycling.

“Even though recycling will increasingly cover our need for raw materials, the majority of the raw materials will still have to come from mining. Therefore, there is a wish to establish more of the raw material production and processing within Europe in order to both increase the security of supply of these important raw materials and to ensure a more sustainable utilization of these resources,” says Jakob Kløve Keiding, Head of Center for Minerals and Materials (MiMa) in GEUS.

The new report shows that the Nordic region has a large potential for delivering many of the metals and minerals needed for the green transition and that in terms of mineral riches, the Nordic region is comparable to the most mineral rich areas of the world, such as North America, Brazil and Australia.

Need for additional mapping and data collection

Greenland has a large potential for i.a. critical metals, platinum-group elements (PGE), graphite, niobium, tantalum and titanium – all of which are important in the green transition.

“Lately, we have experienced an increased interest from the mining industry in regards to Greenland’s raw materials. Geologically, Greenland is still relatively poorly mapped compared to many other areas, and there is a need to strengthen the geological knowledge about the resource potential and communicate that knowledge to the mining industry, who uses it to select the areas, they wish to further investigate – and where investments will then be made,” says Jacob Kløve Keiding.

Jakob Kløve Keiding
Chief Consultant
Petrology and Economic Geology
Kirstine Udenby
Communications Officer
Press and Communication

Report

The report is published by Nordic Innovation.

Find it here