Administration of mineral licences is regulated with reference to different judicial documents.

On this page you will find the different terms, rules, laws and guidelines relevant for mineral prospecting and exploration in Greenland. This includes:

The application procedure and standard terms specified on this site have been approved by the Government of Greenland as the basis for granting prospecting, exploration and small scale licences for minerals (mineral resources other than hydrocarbons) in Greenland.

The application procedure and standard terms have been amended during 2010, 2013 and 2014. After the 2013 election, the Government of Greenland announced the wish for a new taxation model for exploitation licences. As a result, the Government of Greenland has amended the standard terms for licences for exploration for minerals (excluding hydrocarbons) in Greenland by addendum no. 3, including appendices 1-4. Addendum no. 1 and no. 2 have been included in the Application Procedures and Standard Terms 25th of June 2013. Addendum no. 3 has not yet been included in the Application Procedures and Standard Terms 25th of June 2013 and is therefore linked to separately.

The application procedure and standard terms will be revised from time to time in the light of experience. Revised application procedures will apply to all licences whereas revised standard terms, if any, will take effect only for licences granted after such a revision.

Medical guidelines

The Ministry of Health has issued a price list for the health care services offered in Greenland.

Parliament Regulation on Health Care Prices

Health Care Price List

The Ministry of Health has issued a guideline about medicine imports and medicine supplies in connection with mineral exploration activities.

Medicine Guidelines

The Ministry of Health has issued a medical certificate, which must be submitted when the medical examination is performed. All workers, who intend to work in a mine in Greenland, must undergo a medical examination.

Medical Certificate for Examination of Foreign Personnel in Greenlandic mines

Guidelines for Medical Practitioners on Medical Certificate for Examination of Foreign Personnel Working in Greenlandic Mines

Social Impact Assessment

Greenland aims at developing the mineral resources industry to one of the country’s primary business sectors. To make this happen the development in the mineral resources sector has to take place in cooperation with the population of Greenland.

Mineral projects can have a great social and economic impact, both positive and negative. An understanding of the interaction between a mineral project and the local community is essential in order to increase the positive effects and reduce the negative effects of mineral project activities. The following issues are essential in the Greenlandic context:

  • Recruiting Greenlandic labour;
  • Engaging Greenlandic enterprises;
  • Focusing on knowledge transfer (e.g. education programmes) in order to ensure long term capacity building of local competence within the mining industry and mining support industries;
  • Preserving socio-cultural values and traditions.

A way of managing the social effects from mining projects is to prepare a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) in which it is important to identify and analyse potential impacts of a proposed action or development on the human environment, and to recommend initiatives to realize both direct and indirect sustainable development opportunities as well as mitigate negative impacts. The human environment includes aspects such as business and employment, income and other socio-economic aspects, use of land and resources, health, education, infrastructure and socio-cultural features.

In addition to mineral exploitation projects, these guidelines shall with relevant modifications serve as guidelines for mineral exploration projects and for petroleum projects when required by the Mineral Resource Authority.

The rules of preparing a Social Impact Assessment do not apply to licences applied for and granted under Part 8 in the Mineral Resources Act.

The Mineral Resource Authority reserves the right to make and issue amendments to these guidelines at any time. The website should therefore be accessed for the latest version.

Small Scale Mining

Small scale licences are granted only to local residents in Greenland. Applicants having had permanent residence in and full tax liability to Greenland for the recent 5 years are eligible to be granted up to 5 small scale licences per person. There are two types of small scale licences:

  • Small Scale Licence to Mineral Exploration and Exploitation with exclusive rights for an area of 1 square kilometer
  • Small Scale Licence to Mineral Exploration and Exploitation by use of only non-mechanical tools within a municipality (non-exclusive)

Small scale licensees must respect other exclusive right licences as well as protected areas. Small scale licences with exclusive right enjoys the same level of legal protection as a mineral exploration licence.

Further information on small scale licences can be found in Greenlandic and Danish on the official Government site