Mineral Resources Program

Economic Geology

Filter Total Items: 51
Date published: September 14, 2020
Status: Active

USMIN Mineral Deposit Database

Our objective is to develop a national-scale, geospatial database that is the authoritative source of the most important mines, mineral deposits, and mineral districts of the United States.

Date published: August 21, 2020
Status: Active

Isotope and Chemical Methods for Mineral and Geoenvironmental Assessments and Support of USGS Science Strategy

This Project integrates several geochemical tools—stable isotope geochemistry, noble gas geochemistry, active gas geochemistry, single fluid inclusion chemistry, and fluid inclusion solute chemistry—in studies of the processes that form mineral deposits and the processes that disrupt them during mining or natural weathering. Research is directed toward fundamental scientific questions or, in...

Date published: August 20, 2020
Status: Active

Geophysics of the Midcontinent Rift Region

The Midcontinent Rift system and surrounding Precambrian rocks are known to host highly significant mineral resources. Our project objectives are to increase understanding of this system through the integration of new and legacy geophysical data with geochemical and borehole data, map the lithology and structure of PreCambrian rocks, and develop an integrated 3D geologic model of the region....

Date published: August 20, 2020
Status: Active

Spectroscopy and Hyperspectral Imaging of Critical Mineral Resources

Our project will characterize the primary critical minerals (minerals that contain critical elements in their base structure) that are not yet in the USGS Spectral Library. We propose to increase understanding of the spectral indicators of critical minerals using lab-based studies of hand specimens and drill core, hyperspectral field scanning, and hyperspectral images collected from aircraft...

Date published: August 3, 2020
Status: Completed

Non-Traditional Stable Isotopes

Understanding the genesis of ore deposits and their behavior in the environment is a subject of great importance to the Nation. A relatively new tool to aid in these efforts to investigate the origin and environmental effects of ore deposits is the use of "heavy" metal stable isotopes. Our research objectives are to utilize various isotopic systems to advance our understanding of ore genesis...

Date published: July 31, 2020
Status: Active

Metal Transport in Mineralized Mountain Watersheds

The central objective of this project is to develop a greater understanding of deep bedrock groundwater circulation and its contribution to surface water metal loads in mineralized mountain blocks composed of sedimentary rocks. This work is being performed in cooperation with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as part of a broader research program aimed at understanding processes...

Date published: July 17, 2020
Status: Active

Geophysical Studies on the Architecture of Large Igneous Systems Hosting Magmatic Ore Deposits

Platinum group elements, also known as PGEs, are a group of elements that have specific properties which make them useful for various applications in industry. One geologic setting that contains large concentrations of platinum group elements is layered mafic intrusions. This project will use new and preexisting geophysical datasets to characterize the internal structure of layered intrusions...

Date published: June 19, 2020
Status: Active

Critical Elements in Carbonatites: From Exploration Targets to Element Distribution

Critical elements are essential to the modern economy and have potential supply chain disruptions, but compared to most base and precious metals, little work has been done in understanding ore-grade enrichments. Carbonatites are the primary source of the worlds light rare earth elements and niobium, and a potential source for heavy rare earths, scandium, tantalum, and thorium. Project...

Date published: May 29, 2020
Status: Active

GIS and Information Management - GGGSC

We support the geospatial component of Mineral Resources Program research and provide public access to research results and geospatial information. We facilitate all aspects of the data life cycle, including the publication and archiving of geospatial information and products. We also develop and steward national-scale data layers considered foundational to the Mineral Resources Program as...

Date published: April 30, 2020
Status: Active

A Shallow to Deep View Inside the Hydrothermally Altered and Mineralized Silverton Caldera Complex: New Geologic Insights Gained From Modern Geophysical Interpretations

The Silverton caldera complex in southwest Colorado hosts base and precious metals that have been mined since the late 1800s. Extensive mine workings, excellent bedrock exposures, and deeply incised drainages make this area a natural laboratory ideally suited for furthering our understanding of the mineral systems in a volcanic environment. In addition, state-of-the-art geophysical...

Date published: September 23, 2019
Status: Active

Critical Mineral Recovery Potential from Tailings and Other Mine Waste Streams

The primary objectives of this one-year scoping project are to determine the feasibility of extracting byproduct mineral commodities, such as critical minerals, from mine tailings. We plan to analyze the existing data and reports from an active mine site on the composition of their mill tailings pile, and collect preliminary reconnaissance samples to identify appropriate analytical techniques...

Contacts: Robert R Seal
Date published: September 23, 2019
Status: Active

Research Mineralogy - X-ray Diffraction Lab

The primary goal of this project is to ensure the availability of state-of-the-art mineralogical analyses and, when needed, development of new analytical methods that can be applied to topical studies in Energy and Minerals Mission Area, as well as the other mission areas.

The project includes mineralogy by X-ray diffraction (XRD), qualitative and semi-quantitative x-ray fluorescence...