Geology and Ore 32, 2019

Graphite potential in Greenland

Graphite is the most common naturally occurring form of crystalline carbon. It has special characteristics due to its crystallographic structure, making graphite a very important industrial mineral with many applications including refractories, electrodes and crucibles, brake linings, lithium-ion batteries, etc. The production of total graphite in 2017 was 1.2 mio. tonnes. A conservative prediction is that the demand for flake graphite will rise 50% by 2025 to about 900,000 tonnes per year, especially due to the production of lithium batteries for electric cars.


In November 2017, a workshop on the ‘Assessment of the graphite potential in Greenland’ was arranged jointly by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) and the Ministry of Mineral Resources (MMR), Government of Greenland. This workshop deviated from the standard resource assessment procedures applied in previous workshops, because no statistic grade/tonnage model has been established. Instead the focus of the workshop was to present and discuss: 1) the graphite value chain, 2) the Nordic graphite projects and operations, 3) the crucial parameters for graphite occurrence evaluation, and 4) known graphite occurrences in Greenland and their potential. 

This edition of Geology and Ore provides an overview of: 1) the sources of graphite and the deposit types, 2) the graphite products, and 3) known graphite occurrences in Greenland. A GEUS report documenting results from the workshop is available.

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