De Beers has begun investigating Greenland’s potential as a source of high-value marine diamonds.
The miner commissioned a government agency to carry out a survey into diamond deposits, which are “known to be present” near the coast in the west of the Arctic island, according to an environmental assessment report by De Beers.
The Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) — part of the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities — carried out the eight-day research in late September. GEUS set up and ran the survey, with De Beers requesting to extend it and participate in it, a spokesperson for the miner told Rapaport News Wednesday.
The purpose of the “small-scale, early-stage research” was to understand the region’s topography, he added, noting that it was unclear whether the location lent itself to concentrated sediments.
“De Beers Marine (DBM) would like to determine whether the offshore environment is conducive to the formation of secondary diamond deposits,” the environmental report said. “In order to do this, high-resolution geophysical data is required.”
Marine diamonds are generally of high quality, because only the best stones survive the impact of being washed around by water. De Beers currently mines marine diamonds off the coast of Namibia; the country’s 2020 rough production had a value of $465 per carat, one of the highest in the world, according to Kimberley Process data. The company is not carrying out similar surveys anywhere else, the spokesperson confirmed.
De Beers also operates land-based mining in Botswana, South Africa and Canada.