DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAMME AREA
The field work for the 1:500,000 geological map of Greenland has been completed. So far, 13 sheets have been published and the last sheet will be published within the next years. They will provide an overview of Greenland geology in the 410.000 km2 ice-free coastal areas. This series of published maps is available on CD-ROM. After completion of the general geological map of Greenland at the scale of 1:500,000 the focus is now set on more detailed mapping and mineral prospecting in selected regional areas. Detailed mapping at a scale of 1:100.000 covers most of the southern part of West Greenland and selected areas in North and East Greenland. Chemical investigations of river sediments have been carried out in West, North and North East Greenland in association with mapping programmes. On the basis of the geological mapping and the chemical analysis programme minerals of possible economic interest have been identified.
The Survey's findings and data provided by extensive airborne geophysical mapping activities have attracted attention from the international mining industry. GEUS has reasons to believe that the readily available information may in some cases have constituted a starting point for considerations leading to current prospecting for gold, diamonds, industrial minerals, and other commodities. GEUS also plays a role in the processing of licence claims in Greenland and subsequent follow-up activities.
In Denmark, sea-floor sediments and mineral resources in the inner Danish waters have been mapped at a scale of 1:100.000 in a special programme that was launched in 1978. The aim is now to concentrate on North Sea sea-floor sediments in relation to environmental issues, fishery, and coastal stability. One aspect is preparation for aggregate-dredging in deeper water than today. Investigations of onshore raw materials have traditionally been carried out along with the general mapping. The activities were mainly directed to the extraction of building materials such as aggregates, clay, and limestone for cement production. Deposits of heavy mineral sands, bentonite, diatomite and other industrial minerals have also been mapped and studied. These investigations have in some cases led to for industrial prospecting activities. Actual plans for onshore mineral exploration activities concentrate on the systematic mapping and study of selected raw materials.
Annually about 20 pct. of the budget is allocated to activities related to mineral resources and Greenland mapping.
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