GREENLAND – The Geological Survey of Greenland has determined that the Maniitsoq Structure on that country’s west coast is “the remains of a gigantic meteorite impact.” The announcement was made on June 28, 2012, to coincide with the publication of a paper on that topic in Earth and Planetary Science Letters (Elsevier).
The news was brought to CMJ’s attention in a news release from North American Nickel (NAN) of Vancouver. The company is explorating certain claims in the Maniitsoq area, and for those of us who know anything about Sudbury, the site of a large meteor strike may turn out to be a rich source of nickel, copper and platinum group metals.
According to NAN, the authors of the paper postulate that crustally contaminated intrusions of the Greenland Norite Belt (GNB) are products of the impact. The company has been exploring the GNB because the main belt is over 70 km long and as wide as 15 km, and it is comprised on noritic intrusions that show evidence of crustal contamination, believed to be important in the formation of nickel-copper sulphide ores.
Scientists studying the Maniitsoq crater believe it is 3.0 billion years old. The previously oldest known crater is the 300-km-wide Vredefort crater in South Africa. Canada’s own Sudbury Basin is thought to have been formed by a meteor impact 1.9 billion years ago.
Whether or not NAN can find sufficient economic mineralization at Maniitsoq to contemplate developing a mine is not certain. But the company’s optimism appears to be well founded.
The rest of us who are curious about the event can visit virtually at UniverseToday.com/96047/oldest-impact-crater-on-earth-discovered-in-greenland/.