Geology of Greenland

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Main Vein (a quartz-gold vein), outcrop exposure at Nalunaq Gold Mine, southern Greenland

Greenland is the largest island on Earth. Only one-fifth of its surface area is exposed bedrock, the rest being covered by ice. The exposed surface is approximately 410,000 km2.

Its geology is dominated by crystalline rocks of the Precambrian Shield.[1]

There are large deposits of rare earth oxides at Kvanefjeld.

Greenland's first gold mine is the Nalunaq Gold Mine, which opened in 2004. Nalunaq is located 33 km northeast of Nanortalik, in the Ketilidian Orogenic Belt of southern Greenland (60° 21′ 29″ N, 44° 50′ 11″ W). Hanging wall rocks at the Nalunaq Mine are Paleoproterozoic amphibolite-facies metavolcanics. Footwall rocks are volcanogenic massive sulfides. Quartz-gold mineralization here has been dated to 1.77 to 1.80 billion years ago (late Paleoproterozoic), during the Ketilidian Orogeny. [2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Greenland Geology." Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland. 20 June 2003 (retrieved 26 Dec 2010)
  2. ^ Nalunaq Gold Mine, information courtesy of the mine owner.