Joint Greenland–U.S. technical engagement

Under a new MOU on mineral sector governance and engagement, the Greenland Ministry of Mineral Resources and Labour and the U.S. Department of State have joined forces on a new aerial hyperspectral survey to boost mineral exploration investment in South Greenland.

The Ministry of Mineral Resources and Labour and the Department of State formalized existing and planned joint mineral sector technical engagement in Greenland through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) finalized in June 2019 and signed by Minister for Mineral Resources and Labour Erik Jensen and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources Francis R. Fannon. The MOU provides a framework for Greenlandic and U.S. cooperation on mineral sector governance. Within this framework, the Greenland Ministry of Mineral Resources and Labour and the U.S. Department of State will jointly fund and operate this summer an aerial hyperspectral survey over approximately 3,000 square kilometers in the Gardar Province, southwest Greenland. The fixed-wing aerial survey will operate out of Narsarssuaq in July and August.

Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources Frank Fannon noted that, “Greenland has an impressive resource endowment and through this agreement is seeking to maximize opportunities to develop key energy and mineral sectors. As an important geopolitical partner we want to ensure that Greenland pursues an enabling environment to attract diverse and private investment to achieve its own energy and mineral resource security goals.”
The Gardar Province has great potential for new discoveries of a range of mineral commodities, including rare earth elements. Greenland Minerals Ltd and Tanbreez Ltd hold exploration licenses in the Ilimaussaq Intrusion, a part of the Gardar Province that hosts rare earth element mineralization. The region also includes many other areas that are under-explored and have significant potential.

Greenland’s Minister for Mineral Resources and Labour Erik Jensen said, “The Ministry of Mineral Resources and Labour has a long-standing cooperative association with the U.S. government to exchange scientific and technical knowledge with respect to development of the mineral resources sector. This MOU is the beginning of a new phase of this relationship and a mutual commitment to cooperation and development of this sector. Through this agreement, we are focusing on data collection, which is the foundation for mining activities of the future. The more data the better the possibilities for assessing what should be investigated in more detail. This survey is a product that we will be able to offer future exploration companies free of charge and as an important supplement to other exploration in the area.”

Hyperspectral data is collected by measuring sunlight reflected from the ground surface. This includes visible light, but also includes near and short wave infra-red light, which is invisible to the human eye. This light gives information about the minerals in the rocks, which can tell geologists about unrecognized mineralization and can be used to improve geological maps, which helps mineral explorers target their exploration activities.

The data will be processed and delivered as both raw data and rock type and mineral maps. Providing data of this kind to the mineral resources industry drives foreign exploration investment and local employment. This program is one of the geoscience projects co-funded by the Greenland Ministry of Mineral Resources and Labour’s Department of Geology, and the U.S. Department of State ‘s Bureau of Energy Resources to deliver high quality geoscience data and promote investment in Greenland.

For further information, please contact:
Thora M. Hansen, Personal secretary for Minister of Mineral Resources and Labour. Mail: thora@nanoq.gl direct: +299 346839
Jørgen T. Hammeken-Holm, Head of Departement. The Ministry of Mineral Resources and Labour. Mail: joeh@nanoq.gl toqq.: +299 346846





From the session:
Paul Hueper, Director, Office of Energy Programs, Bureau of Energy Resources, U.S. Departement of State, on behalf of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources Francis R. Fannon

Erik Jensen, Minister of Minerals and Labour