Ivittuut

Ivittuut

Ivittuut or Ivigtut, town, SW Greenland, on the Arsuk Fjord. The world's largest known cryolite deposit was discovered there in 1806. Mined since 1864, the deposit has been recently exhausted; stockpiled cryolite has been exported since 1969. The town is now deserted.

Ivittuut, (old spelling Ivigtût) has been a municipality in the south of West Greenland since 1951. With an area of just 100 km² (600 km² according to other sources), it is the smallest municipality of Greenland, bordering on Narsaq municipality in the north, east, and south, and on the west by the Labrador Sea. It is on the coast of Arsuk fjord. Due its small size, the land of the municipality is all ice free, as it does not extend inward to the ice sheet of Greenland.

Ivittuut was founded as a mining town. In 1806, cryolite was found in the area, and mining started in 1865. The mineral deposits were exhausted by 1987, and the town lost its economic base. Now, the town of Ivittuut is abandoned, and the only settlement of the municipality is the naval base Kangilinnguit (Grønnedal) which is to stay. The municipality only exists de jure and may be absorbed by Narsaq in the future.

Kangilinnguit is the Danish naval headquarters of Greenland. The base was originally established to protect the important cryolite mine of Ivittuut.

Ivittuut holds the record for Greenland's highest recorded temperature of 30.1°C Its lowest recorded temperature is -28.9°C.

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