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PROGRAM AREA 4

Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS)
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MINERAL RESOURCES


Danish activities
Greenland activities
International activities

DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAMME AREA

The overall objective for GEUS is to provide, use and disseminate information on materials, processes and issues related to the exploration, exploitation and protection of geological formations in Denmark and Greenland. While the field work for the general systematic geological mapping in Greenland is at present being brought to a satisfactory state of completion at a synoptic level, detailed mapping in relation to specific purposes is being given high priority to meet current needs. The political vision in Greenland is to make the minerals industry contribute to social development and welfare. GEUS offers advice to the Ministry and to the Greenland Home Rule administration on a permanent basis. The overall objective for GEUS is to support implementation of the political aims and strategies for mapping, exploration and exploitation of minerals.

In Denmark information and advice related to on- and offshore raw materials, such as aggregates, clay, limestone and heavy minerals, is offered to mining companies in the private sector, and to governmental agencies and public institutions responsible for coastal protection and infrastructure.

On the basis of more than one hundred years of fieldwork and mapping in Denmark, Greenland and the Faeroe Islands the Survey has obtained a vast experience in:

  • Geological and geophysical mapping, including mapping of surface deposits of ores and industrial minerals
  • Geochemical mapping and regional geochemical surveys
  • Marine geology; high-resolution studies of seabed sediments and coastal dynamics based on shallow seismic surveys, etc.
  • Production of detailed topographic maps in areas not covered by ordnance surveys. The maps are now produced digitally and old maps are being digitised.

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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