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Database of significant deposits of gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc in Alaska

March 12, 2018

This data release provides descriptions and locations of 134 significant deposits in Alaska. Approximately 99 percent of past production and remaining identified resources of gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc in the United States are accounted for by deposits that originally contained at least 2 metric tons (t) of gold, 85 t silver, 50,000 t copper, 30,000 t lead, and 50,000 t zinc. Deposits of this size comprise a very small fraction of the total number of mines, prospects, and occurrences for these metals in the United States. They are called significant deposits because they are few in number yet collectively represent almost the totality of domestic production and resources of these metals. The significant deposits database was first published by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) as part of the 1996 National Mineral Resource Assessment (NMRA), which was limited to these five metals. The database was intended to characterize known mineral resources for comparison with estimates of undiscovered resources provided by the NMRA. Data on location, deposit type, past production, and remaining reserves for 1,118 individual significant deposits comprised the original database. During the 20 years since the original database was published, there has been substantial new production and additions to resources at many of the deposits in the database and many new discoveries that meet the criteria for a significant deposit. New information on a few deposits has revealed that some of the deposits in the original database do not meet the criteria for significant deposits and these have been deleted. This data release is a revision of the Alaska portion of the original 1996 database, with updated production and resource data, improved locations, added data on land ownership, and addition of new discoveries. The Excel table provides locations for and information on significant deposits in Alaska. The geodatabase contains a single point layer which represents the locations of these deposits. The attributes of the point layer contain the same information as the Excel database. A detailed description of the original database and its interpretation was published as Long, Keith R., DeYoung, John H., Jr., and Ludington, Steve, 2000, Significant deposits of gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc in the United States: Economic Geology, v. 95, p. 629-644 (more information available at https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/70022329).