Geology and Ore 6, 2006

The mineral potential of the East Greenland Palaeogene intrusions

Flood basalts, dyke swarms and intrusive complexes characterise the outer coastal area of East Greenland. They are all part of the Palaeogene volcanic rifted margin that formed prior to, during, and after the onset of seafloor spreading in the North Atlantic. The magmatic province stretches from c. 66°N to c. 75°N, a distance of c. 1,300 km. The magmatism lasted for about 50 million years, from 61 to 13 Ma. More than sixty Palaeogene intrusions are recorded. The plutonic suites range in composition from ultramafic to felsic and from depleted basaltic to highly alkaline, and in form from upper crustal intrusions to subvolcanic centres and breccia pipes with related epithermal vein systems.

Due to its remoteness, severe climate and rugged topography, the East Greenland Palaeogene province remains vastly underexplored. In spite of this, two world-class deposits – the Malmbjerg porphyry-molybdenum deposit and the Skaergaard mafic intrusionhosted stratiform PGE-gold deposit – are known from this region that offers a promising potential for mineral deposits of similar or other types.

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