Airborne hyperspectral survey and mineral mapping in South Greenland

ASL Environmental Sciences (ASL) in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada has, following a tender process, entered into a contract with the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Government of Greenland. Under this contract ASL will process and analyze a large amount of airborne hyperspectral data in order to produce mineral maps for the Gardar Province in south Greenland.

Hyperspectral remote sensing (also referred to as imaging spectroscopy) provides image data recorded in a large number of wavelengths, many outside of the human visual range. The image data can be used in the same fashion as a laboratory spectrometer, to detect and quantitatively map spectral features specific to many minerals. By comparing on-ground hyperspectral measurements with the airborne measurements, it is possible to find areas where a given mineral has not been previously registered.

The Gardar Province comprises a suite of Proterozoic alkaline igneous rocks associated with continental rifting in South Greenland. In this area there are great opportunities to make new discoveries of a variety of mineral resources, including rare earth elements. Part of the Province includes the Ilimaussaq Intrusion, which contains rare earths and where Greenland Minerals Ltd and Tanbreez Ltd have exploration permits. The region also includes many other areas that have been underexplored and have significant mineral potential.

The hyperspectral study and mineral mapping of the Gardar Province is a collaboration between the U.S. Department of State and the Greenland Ministry of Mineral Resources.

The first phase of the project consisted of collecting airborne and land-based data. Field operations were conducted from late July to early August 2019 by project partners including the Greenland Ministry of Mineral Resources, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, the U.S. Geological Survey, and Asiaq – Greenland Survey.

The next phase of the project will include processing and analysis of the hyperspectral data. ASL’s team of researchers, analysts and geologists will generate a range of information products and maps in collaboration with the Greenland Ministry of Mineral Resources.

This data will be made available publicly and free of charge by the end of 2020. This will provide the industry with new, high-quality data and improve the ability to promote foreign investment and local employment. Foreign investment in the mineral resources sector is one of the Government of Greenland’s main goals in order to diversify the Greenlandic economy.

The ASL remote sensing group (formerly G.A. Borstad Associates) has more than 40 years of experience in hyperspectral data collection as well as processing and analysis of both airborne and space-based data. The data can, for example, be used for monitoring the aquatic and terrestrial environment, mapping minerals and other research.

For further info, please contact: Jørgen T. Hammeken-Holm, Head of Departement. The Ministry of Mineral Resources. Phone: +299 34 68 46 Mail: [email protected]

Winners of the Mineral Hunt, Ujarassiorit 2019

The first prize of Ujarassiorit 2019, 55,000 Danish kroner (tax-free), goes to Louise Therkildsen from Ikerasak, south of Uummannaq. The winning rock sample is a sulphide-bearing hydro-thermal vein in a volcanic rock from the Angineq island, 10 km southeast of the Svarthenhuk Peninsula. The in-situ sample contains 0.1 g/t gold, 389 g/t arsenic, 10 g/t thallium, 113 g/t molybdenum and 0.1 g/t rhenium. The gold, arsenic and thallium metals indicate a potential hydrothermal gold mineralisation in the area.

The second prize of Ujarassiorit 2019, 25,000 Danish kroner (tax-free), goes to Therkild Hansen from Qaarsut on the Nuussuaq Peninsula for his nickel-bearing basaltic rock sample. The sample yields over 1% nickel, 0.25% copper, 0.2 g/t palladium, 0.1 g/t platinum and has slightly elevated gold content. While the Nuussuaq Peninsula has known nickel and copper potential, this sample indicates a potential new area for nickel and copper mineralisations southwest of Qaarsut. Nickel is mainly used for producing stainless steel, but is also a main component in metal alloys used in high-tech products, such as medical equipment, electronics and energy generation devices.

The third prize of 10,000 Danish kroner (tax-free) each goes to two winners:

  • Laura Jensen from Narsaq, for her sulphide-bearing granitic rock sample found in Kangerlua, 16 km northwest of Narsaq. The sample yields 0.84% zinc and 0.22 % lead. Similar zinc-lead mineralisation has been previously documented through Ujarassiorit, but this sample shows the possibility of finding this type of mineralisation over larger areas.
  • Otto Ugpernangitsoq from Attu, for his iron-, niobium-, and rare earths-bearing hydrothermal rock sample. The sample yields 41.7% iron, over 500 g/t niobium, 672 g/t lanthanum and over 500 g/t cerium.

The fourth prize of 5,000 Danish kroner (tax-free) each goes to four winners:

  • Ludvig Knudsen from Kangersuatsiaq for his in-situ rusty, sulphide-bearing gneiss sample from Singarnaq island, 25 km south of Upernavik. The sample is rich in iron-sulphides (yields 29.1% iron), and contains several other metals in slightly elevated amounts – 0.1 g/t gold, over 500 g/t cerium, and 490 g/t lanthanum.
  • Aninaaq Kivioq from Qaanaaq, for her magnetite-rich sample. The sample is likely an intrusive rock yielding over 50% iron, 0.17% copper and 268 g/t tin. The combination of iron, copper and tin is quite rare in Greenland.
  • Kristian-Henrik Hansen from Nuuk, for his sulphide-bearing gneiss from Iterlak, on southern shore of Ameralik Fjord south of Nuuk. The sample is rich in iron sulphides, pyrrhotite, and yields 17% iron, 0.61 % zinc and 0.12 % copper. A few minor occurrences of these base metals are found in the Nuuk-region, mainly north of Ameralik Fjord.
  • Aviaaja Olsen from Nuuk, for her rock sample with the green gemstone, greenlandite. The sample was found in Oqummiaa, along the northern part of the west coast of Nordlandet. The sample location is not primarily known for this mineral, but has general gemstone potential.

1100 rock samples were submitted to Ujarassiorit in 2019. 169 of these samples showed signs of mineralisations, and were sent for geochemical analysis.

The jury committee of the country-wide mineral hunt, Ujarassiorit, consisted of ore geologists from the Ministry of Mineral Resources, and the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS). Ujarassiorit is only for Greenlandic residents, who can participate by sending in samples for free from every post office in Greenland to the Ministry for geological inspection. Further information on the Mineral Hunt can be found

Ujarassiorit is organised and financed by the Ministry of Mineral Resources. The prizes are sponsored by the following funds and companies:

The Bank of Greenland contributed with 40,000 Danish kroner.

Greenland Resources Inc. and Greenfields Exploration Ltd. each contributed with 10,000 Danish kroner.

Naalakkersuisut (The Government of Greenland) congratulate all the prize winners and thank all participants of Ujarassiorit 2019 for getting involved in promoting the mineral resource sector in Greenland. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

For further information on the Mineral Hunt Ujarassiorit and the results, please contact:
Geologist, Jonas Petersen on +299 34 65 49 or at [email protected].
Geologist, Arent Heilmann on +299 34 68 12 or at [email protected].