A huge diamond hunt launched at sea off Greenland

A campaign has been launched to identify possible underwater diamond deposits off Greenland, the Geological Institute of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) announced on Wednesday. The campaign would be carried out on behalf of diamond giant De Beers.

The Sanna, a vessel specializing in seabed exploration, was mobilized at the end of September for eight days for a preliminary mission, according to a report from the Greenlandic government. These acoustic sonar inspections, aimed at collecting information over a large area, took place in an area nearly 800 km long off the west coast of the huge Arctic island.

Environmental issues to be respected

The mission took place north of Nuuk, capital of the Danish Autonomous Territory. The results of the study are not yet known. The presence of diamonds is already proven on land. De Beers seeks to determine if there are also at the bottom of the sea, where they would have migrated after geological movements. The diamond miner obtained a land exploration permit in July 2019 in West Greenland, then a maritime extension in October 2020.

As elsewhere in the Arctic, the natural and mineral wealth of Greenland is the object of much covetousness, even if few projects have seen the light of day so far. Currently, two mines are in production there: one of anorthosite, the deposits of which contain titanium, and the other of ruby ​​and pink sapphire.

Elected in April, the local government is not hostile to mining activities but recently opposed a project to mine uranium in the South. In July, he also banned all oil exploration to protect the environment. The Greenland ice cap is shrinking because of global warming, three times faster in the Arctic than in the rest of the world.

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