Geology and Ore 2, 2003 (2nd edition)

The Black Angel lead-zinc mine at Maarmorilik in West Greenland

The Black Angel mine took its name from a pelite outcrop that forms a dark angel-like figure on a precipitous cliff face of marble above Affarlikassaa fjord. The mineralised zone actually crops out just above the angel figure about 700 m above fjord level. The 1100 m high Angel mountain is situated at the margin of the Greenland ice cap at 71°N lat. on the west coast of Greenland, about 500 km north of the Arctic Circle, where there is two months of winter darkness. The peninsula across the fjord housed the mining camp, concentrator and all services and received its name Maarmorilik from a former marble quarry situated there from the 1930s. The only access to the mine from these facilities was by two aerial tramways.

The Black Angel deposit comprised ten ore bodies totalling 13.6 million tons grading 12.3% Zn, 4.0% Pb and 29 ppm Ag. Of these 11.2 million tons were extracted in the period 1973–90. The mining operations ceased when the extractable ore reserves were exhausted, leaving 2.4 million tons of ore tied up in pillars and other areas inaccessible to mining.