A substantial increase in global exploration for Rare Earth Element (REE) deposits has taken place in recent years and resulted in considerable advances in defining new resources globally. A large portion of these are located in Greenland, where reported total rare earth oxides resources hosted by advanced projects reached 38.5 Mt in 2015. This is due to substantial exploration efforts that build on geological knowledge accumulated over decades of investigations by research organisations and private exploration groups.
This report aims to provide an overview of the exploration potential in Greenland using ore deposit models to structure the description of the currently known REE districts. The potential for future discoveries is highlighted based on the results of an assessment workshop that focused on the characterization of the Greenlandic REE endowment. There is particularly good potential for future discoveries of alkaline intrusion-hosted and carbonatite-hosted REE deposits in Central East Greenland, South-East Greenland and in South Greenland.
The report also provides an overview of the ongoing REE projects. The status of the REE exploration in Greenland is presented in some detail, and describes the activities and licence claims of exploration companies at the time of writing (spring 2015). At this point, there are eight companies holding a total of 3,186 km2 of licence areas for REE exploration. Four projects have published a resource statement. For the two major REE projects (Kvanefjeld and Kringlerne, Gardar Province, South Greenland) an annual Greenlandic REE production of 26,000 tonnes TREO from around 2018 is tentatively forecasted by the exploration groups. Currently, both projects are in the permitting process towards an exploitation licence.
Download MiMa rapport 2015/2 (PDF-file ~ 4 mb)
Head of Center for Minerals and Materials (MiMa)