Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative (CMMI)

Science Center Objects

The USGS, in combination with Geoscience Australia and the Geological Survey of Canada, formed the Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative (CMMI) in 2019 to combine expertise and collaboratively conduct research on critical mineral resources.

Image shows a map and key of the United States with mineral locations marked with colored shapes

Known Mineral Locations in the United States.

(Public domain.)

Image shows a map of Australia with mineral locations marked with colored shapes

Known Mineral Locations in Australia.

(Public domain.)

Image shows a map of Canada with mineral locations marked with colored shapes

Known Mineral Locations in Canada.

(Public domain.)

Science Issue and Relevance

The United States is heavily dependent on foreign sources for many of the mineral commodities that are deemed critical by the Department of the Interior. Yet our knowledge about many critical minerals is lacking or very poor. Many other countries, including Australia and Canada, have stressed the importance of critical minerals and the need to expand and diversify critical mineral supply chains. 

Methods to Address Issue 

The geoscience organizations of Geoscience Australia (GA), the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC), and the USGS have created the Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative (CMMI), which provides an international structure for collaboration between the three national geoscience surveys. The goals of the CMMI are to develop a better understanding of known critical mineral resources, determine geologic controls on critical mineral distribution for deposits currently producing byproducts, identify new sources of supply through critical mineral potential mapping, and promote critical mineral discovery in all three countries. 

The three major objectives are: 

  1. Develop global database for critical mineral geochemistry; develop mineral deposit/mineral system classification schemes by which to categorize the data
     
  2. Evaluate and analyze critical mineral trends of various mineral system types
     
  3. Develop prospectivity modeling approaches for basin-hosted mineral systems 
  • Determine geologic criteria 
  • Determine mappable criteria 
  • Pull data layers together to conduct prospectivity analysis

 

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