Geology and Ore 30, 2018

The zinc potential in Greenland

Zinc showings and occurrences are numerous in Greenland. In particular, the Palaeo zoic Franklinian Basin, North Greenland, which extends for more than 2,500 km E–W through the Canadian Arctic Islands and northern Greenland, is considered to carry a large potential for hosting undiscovered zinc deposits. Until now Palaeo proterozoic sedimentary rocks have been the most important Greenlandic zinc source, namely the Black Angel mine. However, zinc is also known from several occurrences in the Archaean, and the Meso- to Neoproterozoic and Phanerozoic sedimentary environments of West and East Greenland.


A workshop on the 'Assessment of the zinc potential in Greenland' was arranged by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) and the Ministry of Mineral Resources (previously Bureau of Minerals and Petroleum) in 2011. The purpose of the workshop was to assess the possible presence of undiscovered zinc deposits in Greenland in the top 1 km of the Earth's crust and to rank the most prospective areas. The procedures for the assessment and ranking of the individual tracts were designed to comply, as much as possible, with the 'Global Mineral Resource Assessment Project' (GMRAP) procedures defined by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). One further objective of the workshop is to stimulate new exploration campaigns in Greenland.

This issue of Geology & Ore highlights some of the results from the workshop, including descriptions of the most important sedimentary provinces in Greenland, their known zinc deposits/occurrences, and the resulting potential for undiscovered zinc deposits within these provinces. A more comprehensive description of the results from this workshop is included in Sørensen et al (2013). More recent data and information derived from reconnaissance field work carried out in the Eastern part of the Franklinian Basin, in 2012 and 2013, are also presented.

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