The potential for iron oxide copper-gold occurrence in Greenland

Bo Møller Stensgaard, Jochen Kolb, Henrik Stendal, T. Mike Porter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in bookResearch


Focused exploration for iron oxide copper-gold ±Ag±Nb±P±REE±U (IOCG) style deposits in Greenland has, to date, been limited. However, tantalising indications, including regional-scale sodic and iron-oxide alteration, crustal- to local-scale structural preparation and magmatic complexes thought to be fertile for the formation of IOCG mineralising systems are found in many tectonic provinces in Greenland. Furthermore, several Cu-Au-(±Co±Nb±P±REE) occurrences possibly represent IOCG-type mineralisation, although more detailed investigations are neceseary to confirm such a classification.

The two tectonic provinces that are regarded as being the most prospective are the Palaeoproterozoic Ketilidian mobile belt and the Inglefield Land mobile belt in southern and northwestern Greenland respectively. The Ketilidian mobile belt, which is situated south of the Archaean North Atlantic craton, represents an arc environment with wide-spread calc-alkaline magmatism and later syn- to post-tectonic A-type granitic intrusion. Within this environment, widespread, structurally controlled sodic alteration has been recorded within a known metallogenic province of copper, gold and uranium mineralisation, locally with associated iron oxides. In particular, the Au-Bi-Ag-As-W-Cu-Mo mineralisation at Niaqornaarsuk and at Qoorormiut is interpreted to be genetically related to the ca 1780 Ma calc-alkaline intrusions of the Julianehåb batholith and hydrothermal iron oxide-albite alteration.

The Inglefield Land mobile belt hosts a 1950 to 1915 Ma meta-igneous complex, which comprises intrusions, mainly of dioritic, quartz dioritic, granodioritic and tonalitic composition, with subordinate metagabbro and magnetite-rich phases. Late post-tectonic granites, including monzogranite and syenite complexes (1785 to 1740 Ma), were emplaced during later deformation. The northeastern part of the mobile belt embraces the 70x4 km 'North Inglefield Land gold belt', which coincides with a crustal-scale lineament and hosts an extensive string of fault controlled hematite matrix breccias, locally enriched in Cu and Au, as well as associated hydrothermal pyrite-barite-hematite alteration.

Other provinces, that may potentially host IOCG mineralising systems, include areas within the North Atlantic craton in southern Greenland, the Palaeoproterozoic Nagssugtoqidian orogen and the Ammassalik mobile belt in West and East Greenland respectively, and the East Greenland Caledonides, which include large blocks of Palaeoproterozoic basement.

Although there are no known IOCG deposits and major prospects in Greenland, the geology is favourable for this type of hydrothermal mineralisation and some occurrences have the potential for detailed exploration within the outlined areas.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHydrothermal iron oxcide copper-gold & related deposits: A global perspective. Volume 4 - Advances in the understanding of IOCG deposits
EditorsT.M. Porter
Place of PublicationAdelade, Australia
PublisherPGC Publishing
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)978-0-9871196-2-9
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 4: Mineral Resources


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