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Maamorilik (old spelling: Mârmorilik or Maarmorilik, also Black Angel Mine) is a mining site in the Qaasuitsup municipality in northwestern Greenland. Holding resources of zinc, iron, lead, and silver, [1] [2] the mine is 5 km (3.1 mi) long, [3] with its entry level situated 750 m (2,460 ft) above the sea level. [4]

Mining The extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth

Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the Earth, usually from an ore body, lode, vein, seam, reef or placer deposit. These deposits form a mineralized package that is of economic interest to the miner.

Qaasuitsup former municipality of Greenland

Qaasuitsup was a municipality in Greenland, operational from 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2017. As of January 2013 its population was 17,498. The administrative centre of the municipality was in Ilulissat. The municipality consisted of the former municipalities of western and northern Greenland, each named after the biggest settlement:

Greenland autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark

Greenland is the world's largest island, located between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. It is an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for more than a millennium. The majority of its residents are Inuit, whose ancestors migrated from Alaska through Northern Canada, gradually settling across the island by the 13th century. Nowadays the population is largely concentrated on the southwest coast of the island while the rest of the island is sparsely populated. Greenland is divided into five municipalities — Sermersooq, Kujalleq, Qeqertalik, Qeqqata, and Avannaata. It has two unincorporated areas — the Northeast Greenland National Park and the Thule Air Base. The last one, even if under Danish control, is administered by the United States Air Force.



The mine is located approximately 24 km (15 mi) northeast of Ukkusissat in the Akuliarusikassak massif on the mainland of Greenland, on the southern shore of the Qaumarujuk Fjord, a tributary fjord of Perlerfiup Kangerlua, an inner branch of the Uummannaq Fjord. [5]

Ukkusissat Place in Greenland, Kingdom of Denmark

Ukkusissat is a settlement in the Avannaata municipality, in northwestern Greenland. The population of the settlement was 170 in 2010. The name means soapstone.

Perlerfiup Kangerlua

Perlerfiup Kangerlua is a fjord in the Qaasuitsup municipality in northwestern Greenland. It is a tributary fjord of the larger Uummannaq Fjord system.

Uummannaq Fjord

Uummannaq Fjord is a large fjord system in the northern part of western Greenland, the largest after Kangertittivaq fjord in eastern Greenland. It has a roughly south-east to west-north-west orientation, emptying into the Baffin Bay in the northwest.


The first excavations in Maamorilik took place from 1938, possibly earlier, with operations continuing until 1945, [6] and again from 1973 to 25 July 1990 [7] when the mine was closed. During seventeen years of operation, the mine yield of zinc ore amounted to 12 mln tonnes. [3]

Ore rock with valuable metals, minerals and elements

An ore is a natural occurrence of rock or sediment that contains sufficient minerals with economically important elements, typically metals, that can be economically extracted from the deposit. The ores are extracted at a profit from the earth through mining; they are then refined to extract the valuable element or elements.


In 2008 [7] the government of Greenland decided to reinvigorate mining activities in Maamorilik, aiming to provide an economic lifeline to the communities of the Uummannaq region, [8] keeping the relatively new Qaarsut Airport open. [9] Proceeds from mineral resources exploitation will provide Greenland with a counterbalance to the lump-sum subsidies from Denmark.

Qaarsut Airport airport in Avannaata, Greenland

Qaarsut Airport is an airport in Qaarsut, a settlement on the Nuussuaq Peninsula in the Qaasuitsup municipality in northwestern Greenland. It is a primary airport with a gravel runway, capable of serving STOL aircraft of Air Greenland in all seasons. There is a small cafeteria in the tiny arrivals/departures hall. It is connected by a 4 km (2.5 mi) gravel road to Qaarsut and is 13.5 nautical miles northwest of Uummannaq.

Denmark Constitutional monarchy in Europe

Denmark, officially the Kingdom of Denmark, is a Nordic country. Denmark proper, which is the southernmost of the Scandinavian countries, consists of a peninsula, Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 named islands, with the largest being Zealand, Funen and the North Jutlandic Island. The islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate. The southernmost of the Scandinavian nations, Denmark lies southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and is bordered to the south by Germany. The Kingdom of Denmark also includes two autonomous territories in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark has a total area of 42,924 km2 (16,573 sq mi), land area of 42,394 km2 (16,368 sq mi), and the total area including Greenland and the Faroe Islands is 2,210,579 km2 (853,509 sq mi), and a population of 5.8 million.

The operations are carried out by Angel Mining plc, a UK-registered company. [3] As of April 2010, work continues on widening of the mine entrance to the required 300 m (980 ft). [4] The mine is due to reopen in 2013, [10] with zinc and iron ore reserves expected to last for 50 years. [11] Prospective employment is estimated at 110 people. [12]

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea separates Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.


Air Greenland provides charter supply flights to the mining site. Photographed during takeoff in Ukkusissat Ukkusissat-heliport-air-greenland-bell212-takeoff.jpg
Air Greenland provides charter supply flights to the mining site. Photographed during takeoff in Ukkusissat

Ukkusissat Heliport is the closest aerodrome to the mining site, approximately 24 km (15 mi) to the southwest. As in the 1970s, [13] supplies for the mine reconstruction are carried out via Air Greenland charter flights, now operated with the Bell 212 helicopter stationed in Uummannaq Heliport, 42 km (26 mi) away. [14]

Ukkusissat Heliport in Ukkusissat, Greenland

Ukkusissat Heliport is a heliport in Ukkusissat, a village in the Uummannaq Fjord system in the Avannaata municipality in northwestern Greenland. The heliport is considered a helistop, and is served by Air Greenland as part of a government contract. There are no facilities at the helistop; check-in is administered in the Pilersuisoq communal store, the central point of the settlement.

Aerodrome Location from which aircraft flight operations take place

An aerodrome or airdrome is a location from which aircraft flight operations take place, regardless of whether they involve air cargo, passengers, or neither. Aerodromes include small general aviation airfields, large commercial airports, and military airbases.

Air Greenland A/S, also known as Greenlandair, is the flag carrier airline of Greenland, jointly owned by the SAS Group (37.5%), the Greenlandic Government and the Danish Government. It operates a fleet of 32 aircraft, including 1 airliner used for transatlantic and charter flights, 9 fixed-wing aircraft primarily serving the domestic network, and 22 helicopters feeding passengers from the smaller communities into the domestic airport network. Flights to heliports in the remote settlements are operated on contract with the government of Greenland.

Heavy transport including mining products was and will be transported by ship. A port exists at the fjord. An aerial tramway was used to connect to the mine at 750 m above the fjord.

Coordinates: 71°07′35″N51°16′40″W / 71.12639°N 51.27778°W / 71.12639; -51.27778

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  1. Bureau of Minerals and Petroleum Archived 2010-07-27 at the Wayback Machine
  2. "Resources and Industry". Government of Greenland. Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
  3. 1 2 3 Angel Mining plc
  4. 1 2 "Maarmorilik udvides". Kalaallit Nunaata Radioa (in Danish). 27 April 2010. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
  5. Nuussuaq (Map) (1992 ed.). Tage Schjøtt, Denmark.
  6. GF Greenland 1991, pg 140 by Eric Wowern
  7. 1 2 Greenland Employers Association
  8. "Future of lead mine uncertain". Sermitsiaq . Retrieved 17 May 2010.
  9. "Lufthavne bliver ikke lukket". Sermitsiaq (in Danish). 17 October 2007. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
  10. "Significant Progress at Black Angel Zinc/Lead Mine". Angel Mining plc. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  11. "Maarmorilik har zink og jern til 50 år". Kalaallit Nunaata Radioa (in Danish). 27 April 2010. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
  12. "Maarmorilik genåbnes i år". Sermitsiaq (in Danish). 11 January 2008. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
  13. "Grønlandsfly 1970-79" (in Danish). Air Greenland . Retrieved 17 May 2010.
  14. "Black Angel News, the newsletter about the Black Angel Project in Greenland" (PDF). Angelmining plc. Retrieved 19 May 2010.