Mineral resources assessment
Mineral resources are minerals and rocks formed through various geological processes in such quantities and of such a grade that it is viable to mine and process them into commercial products. Ore geology (economic geology) is about providing knowledge about mineral resources. Through field studies and subsequent laboratory studies, complex, geoscientific data are assessed in order to appraise potential mineral resources areas.
GEUS' activities in brief
Greenland potentially has many different mineral resources. These resources are the result of Greenland's long, geological history and of various geological processes. Today, knowledge exists of a number of areas which could eventually become new projects to mine for minerals such as copper, zinc, lead, gold, iron, nickel, platinum, rare earth elements, molybdenum, niobium, tantalum, uranium and coal, as well as precious stones such as rubies and diamonds. In order to ensure economic growth and stability for the country, Greenland wants to discover methods for exploiting some of these mineral resources.
GEUS is contributing to this strategy by carrying out geological mapping and detailed ore geology surveys of mineral deposits that could lead to new mineral discoveries. This work is based on the surveys and resulting data from throughout Greenland which GEUS collects and processes on an ongoing basis, including data from previous mining activities reported to and stored by GEUS.
An essential part of GEUS' task in Greenland is to describe the geological environments and interpret the geological processes that can lead to the refinement of chemical elements and minerals which are of special interest to the mining industry and society in general. On the basis of field and laboratory data, researchers are establishing models of the geological processes that are believed to lead to the formation of ore deposits. These models are being used to indicate places where deposits of mineral resources are especially likely. This work also involves the review of, and comparison with, geological and theoretical models from other places in the world with well-described mineral deposits.
In collaboration with Naalakkersuisut (the Greenland Government), GEUS is contributing with information to the minerals industry about geological environments and known mineral deposits which are likely to have an interesting economic potential. GEUS is providing information e.g. through reports, scientific publications and publicly available databases as well as through participating in international meetings and conferences. Furthermore, GEUS organises annual assessments of selected mineral resources collaboratively with Naalakkersuisut and international experts.
Furthermore, GEUS is helping develop competences within the mineral resources sector in several developing countries.