Development of Assessment Techniques and Analysis Project II (DATAP II)

Science Center Objects

The Development of Assessment Techniques and Analysis Project (DATAPII) objective is to modernize the application and development of USGS mineral resource and integrated multiresource assessment methodologies and capacity that are applicable at a variety of spatial and temporal scales, and national and international in scope.

Science Issue and Relevance

Mineral resource assessments provide government and industry leaders with information about undiscovered resources in terms of potential occurrence, distribution, type, quality, amount, value, and certainty in assessment results. The USGS needs to expand expertise and build additional capacity and methodology to undertake quantitative and qualitative mineral resource assessments. Since the development and wide-acceptance of the 3-Part form of assessment, geospatial technologies and statistical techniques have become fundamental to resource assessment and exploration targeting. These can better integrate mineralizing system concepts into existing USGS assessment methods, as well as provide a foundation on which to build new assessment approaches, methods, and tools. Sustained research, development, and application are needed to continue and expand USGS approaches to qualitative and quantitative mineral resource and integrated multiresource assessments.

Methodology to Address Issue

This project is an ongoing effort under which project personnel work to maintain and innovate USGS capacity in mineral resource assessment science. Refinements and reprioritizations are driven by both internal (software update needs, new geospatial technologies, additional geostatistical and coding capacity, minerals-system approach application) and external factors (national priorities related to critical and strategic minerals, green technologies and energy, alternative sources for mineral resources). 

  • Methods / Data / Tools - research and development into refining existing and developing new assessment methodologies and techniques 
  • Training -  instruction and demonstration of resource assessment approaches through short courses 
  • Assessments - conduct mineral resource assessments
  • Big Data - utilize various statistical, geostatistical, quantitative and qualitative methods, including "Big Data" analytics
    and Machine Learning techniques

Since the project's launch in 2015, project personnel have:

  1. developed a new methodology and implemented an operation Monte Carlo simulation tool,
  2. created various geospatial tools to facilitate resource assessment,
  3. made advances towards developing economic filters for evaluating quantitative assessment results,
  4. explored and applied techniques for quantitative assessments of strataiform mineral deposit types,
  5. conducted, facilitated, and participated in domestic and internal resource assessment efforts,
  6. developing training materials and provided training in resource assessment for USGS and cooperators,
  7. developed mineral deposit inventory databases and descriptive and grade-tonnage models,
  8. collaborative efforts developed and continued both within USGS and with other country geological surveys and research institutes
  9. published widely on a range of topics, including quantitative mineral resource assessment methods, mineral and multi-resource assessment results, mineral deposit studies and deposit models, critical minerals, remote-sensing applications to mineral resource assessment, and minerals supply.

Data Releases (see the Data and Tools tab for other data releases)

Hammarstrom, J.M., Zientek, M.L. and Parks, H.L., 2018, Global Mineral Resource Assessment: Summary simulation results for estimates of amounts of copper in undiscovered porphyry copper deposits: U.S. Geological Survey data release,