Mineral Resources Program

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The USGS Mineral Resources Program delivers unbiased science and information to understand mineral resource potential, production, consumption, and how minerals interact with the environment.

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Mineral Statistics and Commodity Information

Mineral Statistics and Commodity Information

Statistics and information on minerals and materials essential to the U.S. economy, the national security, and protection of the environment published by the National Minerals Information Center.

Minerals Information

Mineral Resources Online Spatial Data

Mineral Resources Online Spatial Data

Interactive maps and downloadable data for regional and global geology, geochemistry, geophysics, and mineral resources.

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Science Priorities

We study geologic processes that concentrate known mineral resources at specific localities in the Earth's crust, and assess quantities, qualities, and areas of undiscovered mineral resources, or potential future supply.

Minerals Information and Material Flow

Characterization and Identification of Critical Mineral Resources

Geologic and Mineral Resource Studies in Alaska

Characterization of the Midcontinent Region Mineral Resources

Assessment of Undiscovered Mineral Resources

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News

Date published: September 3, 2018

Scientists Discover New Clues to Mount St. Helens Unusual Location

The atypical location of Mount St. Helens may be due to geologic structures that control where deep magmas can rise through the crust, as suggested by new findings published today in Nature Geoscience.

Date published: May 22, 2018

Digital Gold Rush Depends on Traditional Gold

In 1849, the discovery of gold in California sparked one of the most famous gold rushes in history. Thousands trekked across mountainous terrain to seek the precious metal, with entire industries springing up around the rush. In fact, the desire to understand our mineral resource wealth that led to the creation of the U.S. Geological Survey was in part fueled by gold rushes like this one.

Date published: May 18, 2018

Interior Releases 2018’s Final List of 35 Minerals Deemed Critical to U.S. National Security and the Economy

The Department of the Interior today published a list of 35 mineral commodities considered critical to the economic and national security of the United States. This list will be the initial focus of a multi-agency strategy due in August this year to implement President Donald J. Trump's Executive Order to break America's dependence on foreign minerals

The USGS Mineral Resources Program supports data collection and research on nonfuel mineral resources. We study geologic processes that form known mineral resources at specific areas in the Earth's crust and assess potential future supply of mineral resources.

Our Science Activities
Filter Total Items: 48
Date published: August 1, 2018
Status: Active

Processes Controlling Groundwater Quality in Uranium In-Situ Recovery (ISR) Mining

The project's primary objective is to evaluate the reducing capacity of an aquifer down gradient of a roll-front ore zone to assess the mobility of uranium and other associated elements (e.g. arsenic, selenium, molybdenum, and sulfur). Assessing the reducing capacity of the aquifer will require characterization of the mineralogy, geochemistry, and microbiology and their variation across the...

Contacts: Jean M Morrison
Date published: August 1, 2018
Status: Active

Mineral Resource Online Data Catalog

Our project makes the digital spatial data produced by the Mineral Resources Program available via a web portal so that users of our data can easily access spatial data for solving scientific and technical problems: https://mrdata.usgs.gov/.

Date published: August 1, 2018
Status: Active

Magmas to Metals: Melt Inclusion Insights into the Formation of Critical Element-Bearing Ore Deposits

This project applies innovative melt inclusion and mineralogical techniques to characterize several distinctive magma types occurring together with prodigious, critical rare earth elements (REE) and gold-(antimony-tellurium) ore deposits within the U.S. We will characterize the pre-eruptive/pre-emplacement magmatic conditions in several districts. Our goal is to determine the role of magmatism...

Date published: July 31, 2018
Status: Active

Integrated Hyperspectral, Geophysical and Geochemical Studies of Yellowstone National Park Hydrothermal Systems

We are researching the subsurface groundwater flow systems in Yellowstone and the relation of these systems to understanding the regional movement of water in a volcanic center. New geophysical data will be integrated with existing data sets from hyperspectral data from Yellowstone's thermal areas and thermal water geochemistry to help define regionally extensive mineral assemblages, the...

Contacts: JoAnn Holloway
Date published: July 31, 2018
Status: Active

Emerging Geoenvironmental Issues Related to Proposed Mining in the Lake Superior Region

We are studying environmental issues related to mining, and potential mining, in the Great Lakes region, continuing the study of characterizing baseline geochemistry of several watersheds in Minnesota and Michigan, examining the potential for aquatic toxicity from metals, and examining the acid-neutralizing and acid-generating potentials of mine waste, and the environmental, and possible human...

Date published: June 29, 2018
Status: Active

Sources, Forms, Extractability of Metals in Non-Ore Deposit Sources

This project will explore potential recovery and environmental consequences of metals in mining and mineral processing wastes as a function of ore deposit geology, and in debris from demolished or burned buildings. 

Date published: June 29, 2018
Status: Active

Trace Metal Mobility in the Yellow Pine Mining District, Idaho

The study objective is to conduct an integrated, interdisciplinary study on source areas, biogeochemical transformations, and physical and biological pathways for trace metal transport in a tributary of the Snake River watershed, focusing on the Sugar Creek watershed. The historical Cinnabar mercury mine site is at the headwaters of Cinnabar Creek, a tributary to Sugar Creek. This integrated...

Date published: June 29, 2018
Status: Active

Geochemical Signatures and Environmental Impacts of Ore and Trace Mineralization in the Southern Midcontinent

The overall project objective is a comprehensive analysis of the natural and anthropogenic consequences of extensive ore and trace mineralization in the southern midcontinent of the U.S. This will be conducted at two scales: 1) landscape and 2) process-level.

1) Landscape scale using geospatial and machine learning techniques to combine multiple geochemical and geologic data sets and...

Date published: June 18, 2018
Status: Active

Critical Commodity Studies, Stillwater Complex, Montana

Scientific research can make our resource assessments of critical minerals more effective. This project focuses on the Stillwater Complex, Montana, which has rocks enriched in platinum-group elements (PGE), chromium, cobalt, and nickel. Project objectives are to update databases, evaluate new mapping techniques, document new styles of mineralization, and document and support research on the...

Date published: June 18, 2018
Status: Active

Alaska Resource Data File

The Alaska Resource Data File (ARDF) site provides descriptions of mines, prospects, and mineral occurrences for individual U.S. Geological Survey 1:250,000-scale quadrangles in Alaska.

Date published: June 11, 2018
Status: Active

Alaska Databases and Information Analysis

We provide GIS and database support for Alaska-based research projects, including database design, data capture, and maintenance, GIS analysis and display, and production of datasets and metadata for publication and data releases.

Contacts: Nora B Shew
Date published: May 25, 2018
Status: Active

Tellurium in Igneous-related Epithermal Precious Metal Deposits in Colorado and New Mexico

The project aims to improve our understanding of the causes of tellurium enrichment in epithermal precious metal deposits, and strengthen our ability to assess the Nation's tellurium deposits. Tellurium is used in solar panel technologies and is considered a critical mineral. Epithermal deposits of this type represent a prospective future source of tellurium.

Our Mineral Resources On-Line Spatial Data web portal is our primary resource for interactive maps and downloadable data for regional and global geology, geochemistry, geophysics, and mineral resources.

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Filter Total Items: 47
Date published: October 5, 2018

Reanalysis of Selected Archived NURE-HSSR Sediment and Soil Samples from Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah

Beginning in November of 2015, a project was undertaken to reanalyze approximately 60,000 archived sample splits collected as part of the National Uranium Resource Evaluation (NURE) Hydrogeochemical and Stream Sediment Reconnaissance (HSSR) project from selected areas in Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. A small amount (approximately 0.25 g) of sieved -75...

Date published: July 30, 2018

Cobalt Deposits in the United States

This data release provides descriptions of more than 60 mineral regions, mines, and mineral deposits within the United States and its territories that are reported to contain enrichments of cobalt (Co). To focus the scope of this data release, we report only mined deposits and exploration prospects with past production, or resource and reserve estimates of 1,000 metric tons or more of cobalt...

Date published: July 30, 2018

Cobalt Deposits in the United States

This data release provides descriptions of more than 60 mineral regions, mines, and mineral deposits within the United States and its territories that are reported to contain enrichments of cobalt (Co). To focus the scope of this data release, we report only mined deposits and exploration prospects with past production, or resource and reserve estimates of 1,000 metric tons or more of cobalt...

Date published: June 4, 2018

Tin Deposits in the United States

This data release provides descriptions of more than 120 mineral regions, mines, and mineral deposits within the United States that are reported to contain enrichments of tin (Sn).

Date published: April 13, 2018

Geochemical and Modal Data for Mesoproterozoic Igneous Rocks of the St. Francois Mountains, Southeast Missouri

This data release accompanies the Data Series report 'Compilation of new and previously published geochemical and modal data for Mesoproterozoic igneous rocks of the St. Francois Mountains, southeast Missouri’ (https://doi.org/10.3133/ds1080). The compilation includes recently acquired as well as previously published geochemical and modal...

Date published: March 26, 2018

Rhenium Occurrences in the United States

This data release provides descriptions of more than 100 mining districts, mines, and mineral occurrences (deposits and prospects) within the United States that are reported to contain enrichments of rhenium (Re). These mineral occurrences include mined deposits, exploration prospects, and other occurrences with notable concentrations of rhenium. 

Date published: March 7, 2018

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

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.

Date published: February 22, 2018

Rare Earth Element Occurrences in the United States

This data release provides descriptions of more than 200 mineral districts, mines, and mineral occurrences (deposits, prospects, and showings) within the United States that are reported to contain substantial enrichments of the rare earth elements (REEs). These mineral occurrences include mined deposits, exploration prospects, and other occurrences with notable concentrations of the REEs.

Date published: February 2, 2018

Mines, Mineral Occurrences, and Mining Districts in the Carlin Area, Nevada

The point and polygon layers within this database represent locations of mines, mineral occurrences (which includes deposits and prospects), and mining districts in an approximately 200-square mile area northwest of Carlin, Nevada. Tables contain additional information such as commodity, geology, deposit types, activity status, deposit resources, and mine production. 

Date published: January 1, 2018

Spectroscopy of Expanded Vermiculite Products and Insulation

This dataset contains descriptions and analytical data (i.e., electron microprobe, X-ray diffraction, spectral reflectance, and scanning electron microprobe analyses) for unexpanded and expanded vermiculite samples. These data are provided for 52 samples of vermiculite attic insulation, horticultural products, aggregate, and packing materials derived from mines near Enoree, South Carolina;...

Date published: January 1, 2018

Fire impacts on permafrost in Alaska: Geophysical and other field data collected in 2015

Fire can be a significant driver of permafrost change in boreal landscapes, altering the availability of soil carbon and nutrients that have important implications for future climate and ecological succession. However, not all landscapes are equally susceptible to fire-induced change. As fire frequency is expected to increase in the high latitudes, methods to understand the vulnerability and...

Date published: January 1, 2018

Imaging spectrometer reflectance data, mineral predominance map, and white mica wavelength position map, Nabesna Quadrangle, Alaska

Approximately 1,900 square kilometers of imagery were collected from July 14 to July 21, 2014 using a HyMap™ sensor (Cocks and others, 1998) mounted on a modified Piper Navajo aircraft. The survey area covered parts of the Wrangell and Nutzotin Mountains in the eastern Alaska Range near Nabesna, Alaska. The aircraft was flown at an altitude of approximately 5,050 meters (m) (3,480 m...

Filter Total Items: 9
Date published: March 22, 2018

Surface Materials Map of Afghanistan: Iron-bearing Minerals and Other Materials

This map shows the distribution of selected iron-bearing minerals and other materials derived from analysis of HyMap imaging spectrometer data of Afghanistan. 

Date published: March 22, 2018

Surface Materials Map of Afghanistan: Carbonates, Phyllosilicates, Sulfates, Altered Minerals, and Other Materials

This map shows the distribution of selected carbonates, phyllosilicates, sulfates, altered minerals, and other materials derived from analysis of HyMap imaging spectrometer data of Afghanistan.  

Date published: January 25, 2018

Mineral Deposits of the Midcontinent Rift System

USGS interactive Story Map describing the Mineral Deposits of the Midcontinent Rift System.

Date published: April 1, 2016

Geochemical and Mineralogical Maps for Soil for the Conterminous U.S.

Online data set provides an estimate of the abundance and spatial distribution of chemical elements and minerals in soils of the conterminous United States and represents a baseline for soil geochemistry and mineralogy against which future changes may be recognized and quantified.

Date published: March 7, 2016

Geologic Map Data

Digital geologic maps of the U.S. States with consistent lithology, age, GIS database structure, and format.

Date published: March 7, 2016

Mining Operation and Prospecting

Mine plants and operations for commodities monitored by the National Minerals Information Center of the USGS. Operations included are those considered active in 2003 and surveyed by the USGS.

Date published: March 7, 2016

Minerals Information Maps

Maps of facilities for both international and domestic locations.

Date published: November 2, 2015

National Map of Surficial Mineralogy

The large-area material maps presented here were designed to aid in the identification of mineral groups in exposed rocks, soils, mine waste rock, and mill tailings on the Earth’s surface. Many man-made materials have spectral absorption features that can appear similar to those of various mineral groups at the spectral and spatial resolutions of Landsat and ASTER satellite data. View usage guide.

Date published: December 1, 2013

Hyperspectral Surface Materials Maps of Afghanistan 1:250,000-scale Quadrangle Series

1:250,000-scale quadrangle maps covering Afghanistan showing the distribution of iron-bearing minerals, selected carbonates, phyllosilicates, sulfates, altered minerals, and other materials derived from analysis of HyMap imaging spectrometer data.

Filter Total Items: 2,153
Year Published: 2018

Distinguishing brackish lacustrine from brackish marine deposits in the stratigraphic record: A case study from the late Miocene and early Pliocene Bouse Formation, Arizona and California, USA

Brackish marine and brackish continental environments are fundamentally different from a compositional perspective. Brackish water is often defined as having salinity lower than that of standard seawater but higher than that of freshwater, but less regard is given to the origin of the salts involved. The simple dilution of...

Bright, Jordon; Cohen, Andrew S.; Starratt, Scott W.
Bright, J., Cohen, A.S., and Starratt, S.W., 2018, Distinguishing brackish lacustrine from brackish marine deposits in the stratigraphic record: A case study from the late Miocene and early Pliocene Bouse Formation, Arizona and California, USA: Earth-Science Reviews, v. 185, p. 974-1003, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2018.08.011.

Year Published: 2018

Paleoseismic results from the Alpine site, Wasatch fault zone: Timing and displacement data for six holocene earthquakes at the Salt Lake City–Provo segment boundary

To improve the characterization of Holocene earthquakes on the Wasatch fault zone (WFZ), we conducted light detection and ranging (lidar)‐based neotectonic mapping and excavated a paleoseismic trench across an 8‐m‐high fault scarp near Alpine, Utah, located &lt;1&#x2009;&#x2009;km"><1  km<1  km south of the boundary...

Bennett, Scott E. K.; Duross, Christopher; Gold, Ryan D.; Briggs, Richard; Personius, Stephen; Reitman, Nadine G.; Devore, Joshua; Hiscock, Adam; Mahan, Shannon A.; Gray, Harrison; Gunnarson, Sydney; Stephenson, William J.; Pettinger, Elizabeth; Odum, Jackson K.
Bennett, S.E.K., DuRoss, C.B., Gold, R.D., Briggs, R.W., Personius, S.F., Reitman, N.G., Devore, J.R., Hiscock, A.I., Mahan, S.A., Gray, H.J., Gunnarson, S., Stephenson, W.J., Klein, T., Pettinger, E., and Odum, J.K., 2018, Paleoseismic results from the Alpine site, Wasatch fault zone--timing and displacement data for six Holocene earthquakes at the Salt Lake City–Provo segment boundary: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, https://doi.org/10.1785/0120160358.

Year Published: 2018

Aeromagnetic map of Mountain Pass and vicinity, California and Nevada

Magnetic investigations of Mountain Pass and vicinity were begun as part of an effort to study regional crustal structures as an aid to understanding the geologic framework and mineral resources of the eastern Mojave Desert. The study area, which straddles the state boundary between southeastern California and southern Nevada, encompasses Mountain...

Ponce, David A.; Ponce, David A.; Denton, Kevin M.
Ponce, D.A., and Denton, K.M. (D.A. Ponce, ed.), 2018, Aeromagnetic map of Mountain Pass and vicinity, California and Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3412–B, scale 1:62,500, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3412B.

Year Published: 2018

Isostatic gravity map of Mountain Pass and vicinity, California and Nevada

Gravity investigations of Mountain Pass and vicinity were begun as part of an effort to study regional crustal structures as an aid to understanding the geologic framework and mineral resources of the eastern Mojave Desert. The study area, which straddles the state boundary between southeastern California and southern Nevada, encompasses Mountain...

Ponce, David A.; Ponce, David A.; Denton, Kevin M.
Ponce, D.A., and Denton, K.M. (D.A. Ponce, ed.), 2018, Isostatic gravity map of Mountain Pass and vicinity, California and Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3412–A, scale 1:62,500, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3412A.

Year Published: 2018

Geophysical and geologic maps of Mountain Pass and vicinity, California and Nevada

U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3412 is a series of products that consists of geophysical and geologic maps of Mountain Pass and vicinity, California. Maps A and B (red outline in above map image) are gravity and aeromagnetic maps, respectively. The map series was begun as part of an effort to study regional crustal structures...

Ponce, David A.

Year Published: 2018

Thermally induced fracture of macroscale surficial granite sheets

Geologically diverse landforms around the world show indications of energetic macroscale fracture. These fractures are sometimes displayed dramatically as so-called “A-tents”, whereby relatively thin rock sheets push upwards and fracture, forming tent-like voids beneath the ruptured sheets. The origin and formation of such features has been a...

Collins, Brian D.; Stock, Greg M.; Eppes, Martha C.
Collins, B.D., Stock, G.M., and Eppes, M.C., 2018. Thermally induced fracture of macroscale surficial granite sheets, In Proceedings of the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Rock Mechanics Association, Seattle, Washington.

Year Published: 2018

Geologic map of the Castle Rock 7.5' quadrangle, Arizona and California

The Castle Rock quadrangle is in the northeast corner of Chemehuevi Valley, California and Arizona. It includes the Colorado River’s entrance to the valley at the mouth of Topock Gorge and the northern outskirts of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe community of Havasu Lake, California. The map includes large parts of the...

House, P. Kyle; John, Barbara E.; Malmon, Daniel V.; Block, Debra; Beard, L. Sue; Felger, Tracey J.; Crow, Ryan S.; Schwing, Jonathan E.; Cassidy, Colleen E.
House, P.K., John, B.E., Malmon, D.V., Block, D., Beard, L.S., Felger, T.J., Crow, R.S., Schwing, J.E., and Cassidy, C.E., 2018, Geologic map of the Castle Rock 7.5' quadrangle, Arizona and California: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3411, scale 1:24,000, pamphlet 15 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3411.

Year Published: 2018

Framework geologic map and structure sections along the Bartlett Springs Fault Zone and adjacent area from Round Valley to Wilbur Springs, northern Coast Ranges, California

The geologic map and accompanying report describes the extent, complexity, architecture, and evolution of the Bartlett Springs Fault Zone between Clear Lake and Round Valley, California. This fault zone is the eastern-most known active member of the San Andreas transform margin in northern California. It is of particular interest for its apparent...

McLaughlin, Robert J.; Moring, Barry C.; Hitchcock, Christopher S.; Valin, Zenon C.
McLaughlin, R.J., Moring, B.C., Hitchcock, C.S., and Valin, Z.C., 2018, Framework geologic map and structure sections along the Bartlett Springs Fault Zone and adjacent area from Round Valley to Wilbur Springs, northern Coast Ranges, California (ver. 1.1, September 2018): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3395, 60 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3395.

Year Published: 2018

Bedrock mapping and seismic hazard assessment at Gold Basin landslide, Washington

The Gold Basin landslide is located along the South Fork Stillaguamish River, within the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in western Washington State. Recent concerns related to slope stability after the 2014 State Route 530 Landslide near Oso, Washington, forced the closure of the U.S. Forest Service Gold Basin Campground in May of 2014. In...

Staisch, Lydia M.
Staisch, L.M., 2018, Bedrock mapping and seismic hazard assessment at Gold Basin landslide, Washington: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1132, 19 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181132.

Year Published: 2018

Geology and geologic history: Overview of the geology of the San Francisco Bay region

The geology of San Francisco and the surrounding northern and central California area has played a pivotal role in the development of our understanding of Earth processes, especially the process of tectonic accretion at a continental margin and the development of transform plate margins. The Franciscan Complex, which underlies most (or perhaps...

Johnson, A. Kenneth; Bartow, Greg W.; Graymer, Russell

Year Published: 2018

Flushing of the deep Pacific Ocean and the deglacial rise of atmospheric CO2 concentrations

During the last deglaciation (19,000–9,000 years ago), atmospheric CO2increased by about 80 ppm. Understanding the mechanisms responsible for this change is a central theme of palaeoclimatology, relevant for predicting future CO2 transfers in a warming world. Deglacial CO2 rise hypothetically tapped an accumulated deep Pacific carbon...

Du, Jianghui; Haley, Brian; Mix, Alan; Walczak, Maureen; Praetorius, Summer K.
Du, J., Haley, B., Mix, A., Walczak, M., Praetorius, S: Flushing of the deep Pacific Ocean and the deglacial rise of atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Nature Geoscience. 10.1038/s41561-018-0205-6 (2018)

Year Published: 2018

Global and Arctic climate sensitivity enhanced by changes in North Pacific heat flux

Arctic amplification is a consequence of surface albedo, cloud, and temperature feedbacks, as well as poleward oceanic and atmospheric heat transport. However, the relative impact of changes in sea surface temperature (SST) patterns and ocean heat flux sourced from different regions on Arctic temperatures are not well constrained. We modify ocean-...

Praetorius, Summer K.; Rugenstein, Maria A.; Persad, Geeta; Caldeira, Ken
Praetorius, S., Rugenstein, M. Persad, G. Caldeira, K. Global and Arctic climate sensitivity enhanced by changes in North Pacific heat flux, Nature Communications 9: 3124 (2018).

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Date published: March 6, 2018

Processing Routines in IDL for Spectroscopic Measurements (PRISM)

PRISM provides a framework to conduct spectroscopic analysis of measurements made using laboratory, field, airborne, and space-based spectrometers. Using PRISM functions, the user can compare the spectra of materials of unknown composition with reference spectra of known materials.

Filter Total Items: 94
monazite grains SEM photo
October 31, 2017

SEM Photo of Monazite Grains with REE

Monazite grains with rare earth elements lanthenum, cerium and neodinium are associated with zirconium, pyrite and potassium feldspar. Mineral identification performed by a combination of scanning of electron microscopy (SEM) and electron microprobe.

October 26, 2017

2017 Oct. Public Lecture — Global Trends in Mineral Commodity Supplies

  • The U.S. is increasingly reliant on supply of mineral raw materials from other countries.
  • Advanced technologies are increasingly making use of nearly the entire periodic table of the elements.
  • Dynamic studies of critical and strategic mineral supply and demand can identify emerging potential supply risks.
  • The USGS - National Minerals
...
Minerals in mobile devices infographic
April 6, 2017

Minerals in Mobile Devices — Infographic

This infographic displays the different minerals located in mobile devices. Included within this infographic are:

  • Display: Silica Sand and Bauxite
    Silica Sand: A mobile device's glass screen is very durable because glassmakers combine its main ingredient, silica (silicon dioxide or quartz) sand, with ceramic materials and then add potassium.
    Bauxite:
...
Full view of Molybdenite
March 23, 2017

Molybdenite

Mineral: Molybdenite
Mineral Origin: Henderson Mine, Empire, CO
Primary Mineral Commodity: Molybdenum
Mineral Commodity Uses: In the late 19th century, French metallurgists discovered that molybdenum, when alloyed (mixed) with steel in small quantities, creates a substance that is remarkably

...
Close up of Vanadinite
March 23, 2017

Vanadinite

Mineral: Vanadinite
Mineral Origin: J.C. Holmes Claim, Patagonia, AZ (Sample donated by G. van Oss)
Primary Commodity: Vanadium
Primary Commodity Uses: Vanadium is used mostly in metal alloys, primarily in car parts and jet engines. The United States is currently 100% reliant on foreign

...
Close up of Lead
March 23, 2017

Lead

Lead is a corrosion-resistant dense metal that is easily molded and shaped. 85% of lead in the US is used for lead-acid batteries, which are used in automobiles, as industrial-type batteries for standby power for computer and telecommunications networks, and for motive power.

Close up of Rutile
March 23, 2017

Rutile

Mineral: Rutile
Primary Commodity: Titanium
Primary Commodity Uses: The vast majority of titanium is used in whiteners in the form of titanium oxide. Titanium metal makes up a comparatively small amount of the use for titanium, but as a metal it is used in metal coatings and medical implants.

Close up of Graphite
March 23, 2017

Graphite in Pegmatite Rock

Mineral: Graphite (C) in pegmatite rock
Mineral Origin: Ticonderoga, NY
Primary Mineral Commodity: Graphite
Mineral Commodity Uses: brake linings, foundry operations, heat-resistant lubricants, refractory applications, and steelmaking

Close up of Chalcopyrite
March 23, 2017

Chalcopyrite

Mineral: Chalcopyrite
Mineral Origin: Bingham Canyon, UT
Primary Commodity: Copper
Primary Commodity Uses: Copper is used primarily in electronics, mostly in building construction and industrial electronics.

Close up of Specularite
March 23, 2017

Specularite

Mineral: Specularite (a variety of Hematite)
Mineral Origin: Republic Mine, MI
Primary Mineral Commodity: Iron
Commodity Uses: Steelmaking

Close up of Chromite
March 23, 2017

Chromite

Mineral: Chromite
Mineral Origin: Owings Mills, MD
Primary Commodity: Chromium
Primary Commodity Uses: Chromium mostly goes into stainless steel and other alloys, as well as in color pigments.

Close up of Conglomerate (Gold Ore)
March 23, 2017

Conglomerate (Gold Ore)

Rock: Conglomerate (Gold Ore) Contains sediments of Precambrian age; contains about 8 grams of gold per ton of rock.
Mineral Origin: Witwatersrand formation, South Africa. The gold in the Witwatersrand Basin area was deposited in Archean river deltas having been washed down from surrounding gold-rich greenstone belts to the north and

...

News Releases, Technical Announcements, and other items of interest. Subscribe to the USGS Minerals News RSS feed to keep up with the latest news.

USGS Minerals News
Filter Total Items: 89
Date published: September 3, 2018

Scientists Discover New Clues to Mount St. Helens Unusual Location

The atypical location of Mount St. Helens may be due to geologic structures that control where deep magmas can rise through the crust, as suggested by new findings published today in Nature Geoscience.

Date published: May 22, 2018

Digital Gold Rush Depends on Traditional Gold

In 1849, the discovery of gold in California sparked one of the most famous gold rushes in history. Thousands trekked across mountainous terrain to seek the precious metal, with entire industries springing up around the rush. In fact, the desire to understand our mineral resource wealth that led to the creation of the U.S. Geological Survey was in part fueled by gold rushes like this one.

Date published: May 18, 2018

Interior Releases 2018’s Final List of 35 Minerals Deemed Critical to U.S. National Security and the Economy

The Department of the Interior today published a list of 35 mineral commodities considered critical to the economic and national security of the United States. This list will be the initial focus of a multi-agency strategy due in August this year to implement President Donald J. Trump's Executive Order to break America's dependence on foreign minerals

Date published: April 5, 2018

USGS Scientists Develop New Tool to Determine if Vermiculite Insulation Contains Asbestos

U.S. Geological Survey scientists and partners have created an onsite, time-saving technique for building inspectors to ascertain whether vermiculite insulation contains amphibole asbestos. The findings are featured in the April 2 edition of American Mineralogist.

Date published: March 1, 2018

Media Advisory: Low-Flying Airplane to Study Geology of the Central Upper Peninsula, Michigan

Residents and visitors may witness a low-flying airplane above the broader Iron Mountain-Escanaba-Marquette region starting at the beginning of April, 2018.

Date published: February 16, 2018

Interior Seeks Public Comment on Draft List of 35 Minerals Deemed Critical to U.S. National Security and the Economy

List includes minerals key to all sectors of economy including tech and defense

Date published: January 25, 2018

Understanding the Mineral Resources of the Midcontinent Rift

The first great geologic expeditions of the United States set off in the mid-1800s, equipped with mules, rifles, and early scientific instruments. Their goal: to uncover the great mineral wealth of the United States and learn about its earliest geologic history.

Date published: November 10, 2017

Investigating Lung Disease in Military Veterans

Six years ago, veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan had trouble breathing normally. The list of potential causes that soldiers were exposed to seemed endless: smoke from burn pits used for trash disposal, desert dust, diesel generator exhaust, humidity and temperature extremes, explosives, and city trash and sewage.

Date published: October 11, 2017

EarthWord–Discovery

Eureka often accompanies this EarthWord.

Date published: October 1, 2017

New Uranium Mineral Named for USGS Scientist

Everyone’s seen the news–scientists discover a new species of fly and name it for Beyonce; scientists discover a new species of monkey and auction its name off; etc. Hundreds of new species of animals, plants, and other organisms are discovered and named every year. But did you know that dozens of minerals are discovered every year too?

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Our Program collaborates with States, Industry, and Academia, as well as International organizations, on most research.

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