Fact Sheet 14, 2007

Barite and celestite in central East Greenland

Significant concentrations of stratabound barite and celestite are hosted by the Upper Permian carbonate sequences of central East Greenland. During exploration by Nordisk Mineselskab A/S 1952–84, these minerals were used as pathfinders for base metal mineralisation. The low market price for sulphates of barium and strontium was the reason why they never constituted economic targets in their own right.

Geological setting

Following denudation of the Caledonian fold belt, epicontinental rift basins developed along the east coast of Greenland in which Upper Permian shallow marine sediments were deposited. The stratabound barite and celestite occur in the Jameson Land Basin that covers approx. 13,000 km2. The Upper Permian Foldvik Creek Group rests with angular unconformity on Devonian to Lower Permian continental clastic sediments being overlain conformably by Triassic to Cretaceous, mainly marine clastic sediments. Tertiary igneous rocks intrude this succession. The c. 300 m thick Upper Permian sequence comprises a basal conglomerate, marginal marine evaporites and carbonates (Karstryggen and Wegener Halvø Formations), bituminous shale and a shallow marine clastic unit. Stratabound copper-lead-zinc mineralisation is common in the Upper Permian and Triassic sediments.

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