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Tellurium Deposits in the United States

June 1, 2020

This dataset is part of an ongoing effort by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to understand the attributes and geologic distribution of critical mineral resources, both globally, and in particular, within the United States. The United States continues to become more dependent on imports to meet the domestic demands for an increasing number of mineral commodities. Many mineral commodities are now produced primarily or entirely outside of the United States, creating the potential for supply interruptions in the foreseeable future, or in the long term. These important but highly dependent mineral commodities are deemed critical and (or) strategic resources. As a part of the process set forth by Executive Order 13817, the USGS National Minerals Information Center (NMIC) identified tellurium as a critical mineral (Department of the Interior, 2018) due to the import reliance and importance in the sectors of defense, energy, and telecommunications (Fortier and others, 2018). Tellurium is principally recovered from anode slimes as a byproduct of electrolytic copper refining, and in the U.S., the main deposits of tellurium are likely the porphyry Cu deposits of the western U.S. This dataset was compiled to provide base layers of information that identify and describe the known tellurium deposits in the United States. This compilation is intended to contribute to our geologic understanding of tellurium deposits in the United States, and to assist in evaluating their resource potential. References Cited Department of the Interior, 2018, Final list of critical minerals 2018: Federal Register v. 83, no. 97, p. 23295-23296, https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2018-10667. Fortier, S.M., Nassar, N.T., Lederer, G.W., Brainard, Jamie, Gambogi, Joseph, and McCullough, E.A., 2018, Draft critical mineral list-Summary of methodology and background information-U.S. Geological Survey technical input document in response to Secretarial Order No. 3359: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018-1021, 15 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181021.