Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Tungsten Deposits in the United States (ver. 2.0, August 2020)

September 14, 2020

This is version 2.0 of Tungsten Deposits in the United States. This data release provides the descriptions of approximately 100 U.S. sites that include mineral regions, mineral occurrences (deposits), and mine features that contain enrichments of tungsten (W). This data release reports on U.S. mines and deposits with greater than or equal to 215 metric tons of tungsten metal (30,000 short ton units of tungsten trioxide). Sites in this database occur in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, Utah and Washington.

As a part of the process set forth by Executive Order 13817, the USGS National Minerals Information Center (NMIC) identified W as a critical mineral due to the import reliance and importance in the sectors of aerospace, defense, energy, and telecommunications (Department of the Interior, 2018; Fortier and others, 2018). Tungsten is necessary for strategic, consumer, and commercial applications. Due to its strength, hardness, and high melting and boiling points, W is used in wear-resistant applications, specialty steel and alloys, and electrical and chemical products. Tungsten minerals were an important part of the United States' industrialization efforts and the domestic mining picture for a majority of the 20th century. Despite reduced domestic production, the need for W minerals and their downstream components remains high. As of 2020, the United States had a net import reliance of more than 50 percent for W, where the commodity is primarily being imported from China, Bolivia, Germany, and Spain (U.S. Geological Survey, 2020).

Tungsten mineralogy is diverse; it occurs in a variety of minerals with the most common being scheelite, ferberite, and hübnerite. In the United States, W ore is most commonly derived from skarns, veins, and porphyry mineral deposits.

The entries and descriptions in the database are derived from published papers, reports, data, and internet documents representing a variety of sources, including geologic and exploration studies described in State, Federal, and industry reports. Resource information extracted from older sources might not be compliant with current rules and guidelines in minerals industry standards such as National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101). The inclusion of a particular W mineral deposit in this database is not meant to imply that the deposit is currently economic. Rather, these deposits are included to capture the characteristics of the larger W deposits in the United States. Inclusion of material in the database is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. The authors welcome additional published information in order to continually update and refine this dataset.

Department of the Interior, 2018, Final list of critical minerals 2018: Federal Register, v. 83, no. 97, p. 23295-23296,

Fortier, S.M., Nassar, N.T., Lederer, G.W., Brainard, J., Gambogi, J., 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.,

U.S. Geological Survey, 2020, Mineral commodity summaries 2020: U.S. Geological Survey, 200 p., mcs2020.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2020
Title Tungsten Deposits in the United States (ver. 2.0, August 2020)
DOI 10.5066/P97NJLI4
Authors Nick A Karl, Thomas R Carroll, Meredith H Burger, Liam D Knudsen, Keith R Long, Tyler A Reyes, German Schmeda
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry Science Center