Project leader

Overview of the most important mineral deposits in the Arctic

The book and accompanying database provide information on 28 diamond deposits and 207 large, very large and potentially large metal deposits.
All available information on the most important metal- and diamond deposits in the Arctic, north of 60oN, has been assembled and made accessible. The Geological Survey of Norway has led the project which has involved eight countries in the Artic.

The products include a book, a data base and a map, collectively representing the first systematic documentation of information on the most important mineral deposits in the Arctic. The compilation illustrates the importance which the mining industry has had in Arctic regions for over a hundred years, and the priority given to exploration for mineral resources in recent times.

This work provides information about major diamond deposits, including the spectacular Popigai diamond field in Russia, which was created by a major asteroid impact 35 million years ago. The asteroid hit an area of bedrock containing graphite which was converted to small grains of ultra-hard diamond in a minute fraction of a second following the impact, which formed a crater with a diameter of 100 km. The book and accompanying database provide information on 28 diamond deposits and 207 large, very large and potentially large metal deposits.

The mineral industry is very important for the northernmost regions of most of the Arctic countries: several deposits north of 70oN (in Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia) are being mined or developed in preparation for mining. Production of certain metals from mines in the Arctic represents a major part of global production of these commodities. Exploration in both established mining provinces and in new, prospective areas shows that there is a significant potential for new, important discoveries.

The project, which began in 2012, has been supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and coordinated by senior geologist Ron Boyd, NGU. Recent years' strong international focus on northern regions, from strategic, military and political perspectives, forms part of the backdrop for the project. The overview provided by the project is part of the knowledge base for future, sustainable development of the region.

- It is a fact that the Arctic region contains numerous, large mineral deposits, which in all probability will be studied and mined in the years to come. The EU, particularly, has a strong focus on securing access to metals in nearby areas, and especially on knowledge of commodities of which there is, or may develop a critical scarcity. I believe that the results of the project will be of interest for the mining industry, for prospecting companies, for scientists involved in research on metal deposits in the region and also for decision makers, says Ron Boyd.

Price: NOK 600,- You may order the book here: