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Technical terms


Pertaining to sediments deposited by running water.


A measurement or test result that deviates markedly from the previous one or from other results.


Antimony is a metal mainly used in lead alloys and in the manufacture of fire-retardant products.


"Originally a Greek word for ""old"". In geology, it is used to describe rocks from the Archaean Era, i.e. rocks that are more than 2.5 billion years old."

Base metal

A shared name for copper, lead, zinc, aluminium, nickel and tin. 


Used by geophysicists to refer to a torpedo-shaped device that can be hung from a helicopter and can contain instruments to measure magnetic variations or other parameters from the air.


A type of rock or magma with a primitive composition, typically coming from deep underground.


The point at which profit equals costs in a financial analysis. 

Bulk sample

A large sample (can vary from a few kilos to several tons) The term was used in Nalunaq in 2000 about samples weighing about 60 tonnes.

Calc-silicate rock

A metamorphic rock to which a great deal of especially calcium has been added.


An igneous carbonate rock.


"A yellow-coloured mineral composed of copper and sulphur


"The Canadian Institute of Mining. The CIM sets out the definitions of mineral resources and ore reserves used in National Instrument 43-101


"Means the same as the official term exploration licence


A material through which electricity flows easily.


An element that occurs in nature in compounds formed with sulphur, iron and oxygen. It is reddish and relatively hard, can be melted and has good electrical properties. It has been used as a metal and in alloys with tin (bronze) and zinc (brass) for thousands of years.

Core drilling

"Drilling with a rotating pipe


Igneous rock formed by the accumulation of crystals that settle out from a magma by the action of gravity.

Cut-off grade

The lowest or minimum grade (in production).


An accumulation in nature of metals or minerals that can be extracted and sold at a profit.

Deposit investigation

All the tests and analysis necessary to determine whether an accumulation of metals or minerals constitutes a deposit.


Dark-coloured basaltic rock that often fills cracks in bedrock.


All materials in nature are made up of one or more of about 100 elements. The most commonly occurring elements on Earth are silicon and oxygen. The various metals are also elements, but they typically only make up a very small share of the world's total composition.

Exploitation licence

"Permission from the authorities to conduct exploration for minerals in Greenland

Feasibility study

A study in which you take a given deposit, after having selected an mining method and production rate, and calculate how much investment is necessary, what production will cost and how much of the production can be sold for each year during the planned production time. You can then calculate the connection between cost and income and evaluate the preliminary feasibility of the project.


"The application of chemical methods to measure the content of elements, constituents, metals, etc. and their interrelationships


The study of the planet Earth.


"The application of physical methods to measure properties such as magnetisation, electrical conductivity or speed of sound


A foliated rock with a mineral composition similar to that of granite.


An element that occurs in nature in specific places. It is yellow, soft, melts easily and is very heavy. Gold has been used to make coins and jewellery for thousands of years.

Gold price

Gold is traded round the clock on the commodities exchanges in Tokyo, Sydney, Hong Kong, London, New York, etc. on all weekdays. The price of gold is the price that seller and buyer can agree on, and it varies from minute to minute.


How much of a given rock consists of a certain metal, in grams per tonne or percentage.


A black-coloured mineral made up of iron, titanium and oxygen, ilmenite is an important titanium and titanium oxide ore.


A fragment of older rock within an igneous rock.


The functions that have to be in order if a society is to function, such as roads, communications and the supply of electrical power and water. In a mining context, infrastructure is typically tunnels plus water and electricity, which must be supplied to mining sites.


Magma that has solidified underground.

Joint venture

A legal unit or type of company formed by two or more parties entering into a financial and ownership collaboration.


Joint Ore Reserve Committee. Rules for reporting mineral resources and ore reserves set out by the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM). The rules contain minimum standards for publication in Australia and New Zealand of exploration results, mineral resources and ore reserves. Similar rules (National Instruments 43-101) for Canadian companies are set out in Canada by the Canadian Securities Administrators.


A type of rock that looks like badly mixed concrete, formed when magma rises from great depths (typically several hundred kilometres) up to the surface, bringing with it fragments of wall rock. At such great depths, carbon occurs in the form of diamonds, so kimberlite can contain diamonds.

Knelson concentrator

"A concentrator that uses the interplay between centrifugal force and water pressure to separate heavy minerals from relatively light ones. A perforated cone with rings cast on the inside rotates at 400 revolutions per minute, which generates a force of 60 Gs. The centrifugal force drives the heavy minerals through the rings and outside the cone

Mafic rock

Magmatic rock with a content of more than 50% dark-coloured minerals rich in magnesium and iron.


Melted rock mass. The word magma is only used to describe melted rock when it is underground. As soon as it comes to the surface, it is called lava.

Maxwell geophysics software

"Software used to interpret geophysics data

Metallurgical testing

Testing to find out how a certain metal can best and most easily be removed from the rock in which it is found.


An area with a particular concentration of metals or minerals. Exploration is usually aimed at mineralisations with a view to turning them into deposits.


”Mobile Metal Ion”. MMI technology is an exploration method aimed at localising hidden mineral deposits. The technology is based on the fact that certain mobile ions from the bedrock migrate and form a halo on the surface of the mineral particles in the top layer of soil. Surface samples are taken along profiles in places where underlying mineral deposits are expected. Analysis dissolves these mineral particles only partially, and an attempt is made to measure the presence of these mobile ions. The detection level of this analysis is very low, which is why it is possible to illustrate fluctuations in levels of the detected metals in histograms. This method has also been used in connection with investigation of the nickel prospectivity in parts of the Yilgarn Craton in Western Australia, a state is known for its nickel deposits.


A glacially formed accumulation of unconsolidated debris.


"Acronym for “metric tonne unit”

National Instruments 43-101

Canadian standards for publication of information in connection with mineral projects, written by the Canadian Securities Administration (CSA).

Net smelter royalty (NSR)

A production tax which is in principle independent of the production costs of a mine up to and including smelter costs. The NSR is dependent on costs in connection with insurance, transport and refining of the smelted product into pure metal. Thus an NSR of 1% corresponds to 1% of the gold that the smelter process produces. NSR is usually calculated annually. An NSR of 1% of a mine’s production of 100,000 ounces of gold corresponds to 1000 ounces of gold minus the relatively modest insurance, transport and refining costs.


"An element that occurs in nature in compounds formed with 1) sulphur and iron and 2) silicon and oxygen


A soft, metallic, silver-grey element found especially in columbite-tantalite minerals. In Greenland, niobium is mainly seen in the mineral pyrochlore from both carbonatite and alkaline intrusions. 


A medium-grained mafic rock, often a sugar-grained rock with black and white minerals which looks grey at a distance.

Nugget effect

A statistically disruptive effect of coarse-grained gold.

Open pit mining

Mining in the open rather than underground. Mineral deposits exposed at the surface or found close to the surface can often best be mined using this method. 


Rock that contains a metal or mineral that can be extracted and sold at a profit.

Ore reserves

"The amount of ore that calculations indicate it will be possible to extract from a deposit. Ore reserves are calculated before production starts

Ore resources

Preliminary calculations – typically in the exploration phase – of the amount of ore, with mining method not taken into consideration. Wall rock is not included in calculations, nor is expected use of pillars.

Ore tonnage

The actual amount of ore removed from a mine.

Ounce (oz.)

Often in these contexts an imprecise description of a troy ounce. However, an ounce is also originally an imperial measure which equals 28.349 grams. In some countries, gold reserves are calculated in ounces per short ton, which is approximately the same as troy ounces per metric tonne. 


An element rarely occurring in nature. Silver-grey in colour, it has a melting point of 1550 degrees Celsius, a high density (12.0) and good electrical properties. It is used as a catalyst in chemical processes, e.g. in the auto industry in catalytic converters to reduce pollution from vehicular exhaust, and for jewellery.


"Platinum group metals


"From the Spanish placera, which means river sand


An element rarely occurring in nature, platinum is silver-grey in colour, has a melting point of 1770 degrees Celsius, a high density (21.45) and good electrical properties. It is used as a catalyst in chemical processes, e.g. in the auto industry in catalytic converters to reduce pollution from vehicular exhaust, and for jewellery.

Platinum group metals

Shared name for a group of similar elements that most often appear together: ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium and platinum.

Pre-feasibility study

A scoping study. An assessment of the tonnage and content necessary before an accumulation of minerals or metals can be deemed a deposit, such assessment based on relatively little actual knowledge about a find but with more of a focus on cost structure.


A site where there is a chance of finding a deposit.


Searching systematically for mineral deposits.

Prospecting licence

"Permission from the authorities to conduct exploration for minerals in Greenland


An indication of the probability of finding a deposit.


The Earth's “middle age”, covering the period between 2500 and 544 million years ago.

Proven reserves

Ore reserves whose volumes and content are known to be accurate.


"A very common, yellow-coloured mineral consisting of iron and sulphur


A group of rock-forming minerals ranging from dark green to black in colour and commonly occurring in a number of igneous rocks.


"A yellow-coloured mineral made up of iron copper and sulphur

Rare earth elements

Shared name for 15 metallic elements, from lanthanum (atomic number 57) to lutetium (atomic number 71) plus the elements yttrium, thorium and scandium. These elements are not especially rare, but concentrations of them are. Rare earth elements are found in minerals such as monazite, bastnaesite, xenotime and pyrochlore.


"When ore is crushed or processed, individual gold particles are released from the rock matrix


"Acronym for Rare Earth Element

Remote sensing

Recording information on objects without coming into physical contact with them. This concept is commonly used in connection with the recording of reflection or radiation of electromagnetic energy, e.g. by using cameras, infrared detectors, microwave detectors, radar, etc.


Should always be described as a mineral reserve in a mining context.


Should always be described as a mineral resource in a mining context.

Resource estimation

Indicates that ore resources have been calculated in an exploration phase. Depending on how much information is available, ore resources are measured, indicated or inferred.


"A yellowish-white tungsten mineral (CaWO4) that looks like quartz but is heavy and blue under fluorescent light

Scoping study

See pre-feasibility study.

Scree cone

Sediments gathered in cone-shaped accumulations on mountainsides.

Screened metallics assay

A method of analysis that seeks to neutralise the nugget effect in the analysis of especially gold-bearing rock.


Solid material that has settled from a state of suspension.


A sloping or vertical drift in a mountain.


A series of rock strata that includes a description of their formation, distribution and composition.


Group name for a sulphur and metal compound, e.g. iron and sulphur forming a compound called iron sulphide. When iron sulphide occurs in nature, it has its own name: pyrite.


Rocks that are deposited on the Earth’s crust.


A hard grey-coloured and metallic element that is highly resistant to chemical corrosion and which is especially found in columbite-tantalite minerals. In Greenland, tantalum is also known from the mineral pyrochlore, from carbonatites and from alkaline intrusions.

Troy ounce

A gemmological unit of weight. One troy ounce (tr. oz.) corresponds to 31.1035 grams. The term “ounce” is used in the Prospect to mean “troy ounce”.


A metallic element that occurs in nature in the form of oxides in compounds with calcium, manganese and iron. Scheelite (CaWO4) and wolframite (Fe,Mn)WO4 are the most important tungsten ores.


Magmatic rock with a content of more than 90% dark-coloured minerals rich in magnesium and iron.

Underground mining

Mining that takes place underground. 

Wall rock

Barren rock that is in contact with ore.


"The chemical formula for tungsten trioxide (tungstate). The price of tungsten is determined by content of WO3 per MTU (metric tonne unit)


An element that occurs in nature in compounds formed with sulphur and iron. It is grey in colour, melts and has excellent electrical properties. Zinc has been used for thousands of years in brass, which is a copper-zinc alloy. Today, however, zinc is mostly used for galvanising.


A greyish white metallic element with ceramic and heat-resistant properties used in corrosion-resistant alloys.