The text below is a joint statement released by the U.S. Department of State and the Greenland Ministry of Mineral Resources and Labour regarding a joint hyperspectral survey in South Greenland.

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Joint U.S.–Greenland technical engagement through a new MOU on mineral sector governance

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

The U.S. Department of State and the Greenland Ministry of Mineral Resources and Labour formalized existing and planned joint mineral sector technical engagement in Greenland through a memorandum of understanding (MOU), finalized in June 2019 and signed by Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources Francis R. Fannon and Greenland’s Minister for Mineral Resources and Labour Erik Jensen.  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 Francis R. 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 that is invisible to the human eye.  The light gives information about  minerals in the rocks, which informs geologists of 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.

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For further information, contact Vincent Campos, Spokesperson for the Bureau of Energy Resources, at CamposVM@state.gov or visit www.state.gov/e/enr.  Additional information is available on Twitter at @EnergyAtState.

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