IVITTUUT (Ivigtut)

The Ivittuut Project is the world’s largest and only known source of naturally occurring Cryolite.

IVITTUUT (Ivigtut)

Eclipse Metals has acquired full ownership of the Ivittuut Project in southwest Greenland with associated mining information on the Project tenement, MEL2007-45.

The Ivittuut Project (sometimes called Ivigtut) is the world’s largest and only known source of naturally occurring cryolite, an extremely rare mineral in commercial quantities, used to reduce furnace temperature in the extraction of aluminium from bauxite (alumina) ore. The mined cryolite deposit originally contained 3.8 million tonnes of ore at a grade of 58% cryolite (Reference: Greenland Mineral Occurrence Map & Occurrence data sheet).  The mine operated for 120 years, closing in 1987.

In addition to cryolite the mine workings contain fluorite, siderite, quartz, rare earth minerals and base metals.

Cryolite MineAerial image of Ivittuut and the cryolite mine in 1960, showing the working open-pit, mine infrastructure, ore and waste dumps and ship loading facilities.


Ivittuut is a small settlement located in southwestern Greenland where there is a land backed wharf used previously for the export of cryolite. About 5.5km to the northeast of Ivittuut, the twin settlements of Kamgilinnguit and Gronnedal have a heliport and an active wharf with infrastructure.

Historical mineral exploration included about 19,000m of diamond drilling, core from which is stored in a Greenland government facility. This will obviate the need for more drilling in the short term and provide material to be re-logged, sampled and assayed.


The cryolite deposit at Ivittuut is a zoned mineralised body emplaced in a nearly cylindrical leucogranite intrusion which in turn is enveloped by an intrusive breccia in contact with high metamorphic granodioritic gneiss constituting the southernmost extension of the Archean block as found on the west coast of Greenland.

The cryolite deposit is divided into siderite-cryolite, pure cryolite, fluorite-cryolite and a fluorite-topaz unit, located above a large siderite and quartz rich unit.

Up until 1987, when operations ceased, exploration included approximately 19,000m of diamond drilling, the core from which is currently stored in a Greenland government facility, available for logging and sampling.

Pit map x section high res -19.01.21

Generalised profile of cryolite, quartz and fluorite emplacement within the granite intrusion and its eastern extension prior to mining (Pauly 1974 and Gothenborg et al. 1988).

Most remaining mineralisation (quartz, siderite, fluoride, sphalerite, cryolite) lies within 40-80m below the bottom of the pit, under the largely mined-out upper cryolite zone.

In the mid to late 1980’s diamond drilling intersected disseminated cryolite mineralisation in leucogranite over an interval of 91m in drill hole BB-25, from a depth of 715m down to the bottom of the hole at 806m below surface. No further drilling was carried out and exploration ceased (refer Pauly 1974 and Gothenborg et al. 1988 and GEUS Open File Report No.20211, pages 6 to 11).


Satelite image showing the whole of MEL2007-45 with showing the Ivittuut and Gronnedal Areas