Geology and Ore 10, 2008

Pegmatites and their potential for mineral exploitation in Greenland

Pegmatites are important suppliers of many commodities world wide. In Greenland pegmatites are wellknown, but their economic potential has only been explored at a few localities. This review provides an overview of the genesis and general economic potential of pegmatite occurrences in Greenland. Field observations, archive information as well as maps of stream sediment samples that are enriched in elements characteristic of pegmatites are the base for the presentation. The prospective areas for pegmatite-hosted mineral occurrences in Greenland are outlined, and examples of prominent pegmatite minerals are demonstrated.


Pegmatites are suppliers of rare metals like beryllium, lithium and tantalum. Pegmatites also represent an important source of gemstones such as emerald and tourmaline, and some pegmatites are even mined for their large, clean crystals of quartz and feldspar. Pegmatites are abundant in Greenland, but few have been described or studied in detail and hence their economic potential is largely unknown at present.

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