Geology and Ore 15, 2009

Mineral Resource Assessments in Greenland

Throughout the world, effective and successful exploration is the result of multidisciplinary approaches integrating the latest in exploration concepts with new technologies. For this to be possible, access to solid geological back - ground information and large amounts of geoscience data are re quired. Through determined and planned efforts, the Bureau of Mine rals and Petroleum (BMP) and the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) have been intensively involved in the geological in vestigation of Green land, and during the last couple of decades with in creasing emphasis on regional mineral resource assessments involving all disciplines of earth sciences. Very large amounts of data and information have been acquired, compiled and interpreted in various assessment projects.

The search for mineral resources in Greenland

The motivation and for geological investigations in Greenland have since the early 18th century been the search for exploitable minerals. The first successful mine was opened in the mid-19th century and exploration continued, with some quiet periods. Government-financed, systematic geological investigations aimed towards ‘the next discovery’ have always provided part of the drive; with the Self-Governance in Greenland just round the corner, the mineral re sources in Greenland are still very much on the political agenda. Today, BMP and GEUS co-operate in the effort to open Greenland to the international exploration and mining industry. A governing principle for the co-operation has been to acquire, organise and make available the many types of geoscience data and at the same time publish maps and papers describing the geological evolution of Greenland and the potential for mineral resources. In a series of projects over the last two decades, the facilities, methods, presentations and subjects have been developed and refined, greatly helped by the development in computer sciences.

This magazine briefly describes the development from thematic maps on paper to maps and data in true GIS environment taken for granted by today’s explorationists.

At the same time, understanding of the potential for mineral resources in Greenland has been advanced significantly, not least through the efforts of the many exploration companies. However, it remains true that major parts of Greenland have been only superficially explored and may be regarded as true juve- nile 'greenfields', calling for much more investigation. The activities of BMP and GEUS will continue to the benefit of the mining industry in Greenland.

The magazine