Qaanaaq 2001: Mineral exploration in the Olrik Fjord - Kap Alexander Region, North-West Greenland

Publikation: Bog/rapportRapport (offentligt tilgængelig)


Project Qaanaaq 2001, a one-season reconnaissance of the mineral potential and drainage geochemistry of the Olrik Fjord – Kap Alexander region, North-West Greenland, is a joint project of the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland and the Bureau of Minerals and Petroleum, Government of Greenland. This report covers the mineral potential part of the project.

A pre-season remote sensing study based on Landsat scenes pin-pointed 28 localities with mineralisation potential. The field work was ship-based and involved one period of helicopter support: it was mainly carried out as shoreline prospecting from rubber dinghy combined with traverses of active moraines and the check of known mineralisation and Landsat anomalies. The work was severely hampered by bad weather.

The project region comprises 4300 km2 ice-free land underlain by Precambrian bedrock cov-ered by Quaternary deposits. The bedrock is formed of two provinces: an Archaean–Palaeo-proterozoic crystalline shield overlain by the unmetamorphosed Mesoproterozoic–?Neopro-terozoic Thule Basin of sediments and volcanics (Thule Supergroup).

The crystalline shield displays widespread oxide and silicate facies banded iron-formation in the Archaean Thule mixed-gneiss complex suggesting a link to the major BIF province that stretches for 350 km along the coast of Melville Bugt and probably into northern Canada. Base metal mineralisation is also indicated and the geological environment invites further exploration for gold and base metals of sedimentary/exhalative origin.

The Palaeoproterozoic Prudhoe Land supracrustal complex hosts hydrothermally over-printed, pyrite-rich graphitic schists characterised by extensive colour anomalies registered as Landsat anomalies. Although no convincing signs of economic mineral concentrations were found, copper mineralisation is indicated and the rocks still constitute an interesting exploration target for reworked gold and base metals.

In the Thule Basin, red bed type copper mineralisation occurs both in the volcanic rocks of the Nares Strait Group and in fluviatile-continental sandstones of the Baffin Bay Group. The volcanic rocks also yield a number of geochemical gold anomalies and they are believed to have a potential for gold and copper.

A sequence of alternating stromatolitic limestone and black shale of the Dundas Group hosts minor sphalerite in the limestone and stratiform pyrite in the shale. These rocks extensively crop out south of the Qaanaaq region and they clearly warrant further exploration for base metals, especially since commercial lead-zinc concentrations exist in carbonate rocks of comparable age at Nanisivik in northern Canada.

Syn- to post-depositional faults of the Thule Basin may be mineralised with quartz, baryte and pyrite, and associated with red bed mineralisation.
Antal sider72
StatusUdgivet - 24 okt. 2002


NavnDanmarks og Grønlands Geologiske Undersøgelse Rapport


  • Greenland


  • Programområde 4: Mineralske råstoffer


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