In May, 2017, Greenland Ruby A/S officially opened its ruby and pink sapphire mining operation in Aappaluttoq, in southwest Greenland, about 155 miles south of Nuuk, Greenland’s capital. Greenland Ruby was awarded a mining and exploration license by the Greenlandic government in 2016. Aappaluttoq (“Ah-puh-loo-tok), which means red in Greenlandic, is the first corundum mine in Greenland.
The deposit, geologically defined between 2002 and 2012, with mine construction initiated in 2014, is located in an icy mountainous landscape surrounded by majestic fjords. The mine site is accessed via a small port built nearby that brings heavy equipment necessary to work under extreme arctic conditions, and a heliport that provides helicopter shuttle service for employees and provisions.
Greenland Ruby’s gems are processed at the company’s ultra-modern, state-of-the-art cleaning and sorting operation adjacent to the mine. The rock is first crushed; then after hand sorting, and other processes, to identify the corundum bearing rock, the concentrate is optically sorted with special machinery. After an additional hydrofluoric (HF) process off site, the resulting material is sent for its final sorting to the Greenland Ruby sorting house in Nuuk. The company’s corporate office is also in Nuuk, while its sales and marketing office is in New York, NY USA. The mine site operator in Aappaluttoq is LNS Greenland A/S, a sister company of Greenland Ruby. Both companies are part of the larger LNS Group, a Norwegian, family-owned company group that handles mining contracts, road projects, bridges and tunnels in arctic regions.