Mineral Resources External Research Program (MRERP) 2012

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2012 Mineral Resources External Research Program recipients and final reports.

In September 2011 the USGS Mineral Resources Program (MRP) announced a grant and/or cooperative agreement opportunity through its Mineral Resources External Research Program (MRERP) to any individual who had the ability to conduct research consistent with MRP goals and who was not employed by a Federal agency. Applicants can be affiliated (but are not required to be affiliated) with universities, State agencies, Tribal governments or organizations, industry, or other private sector groups. The 2012 MRERP received twenty three proposals that were reviewed by a panel of 6 research scientists (2 from USGS and 4 external to the USGS).

The FY 2012 MRERP solicitation included a call for research proposals (1) to improve our understanding of the geology, mineralogy, geochemistry, and geophysical properties of critical mineral-bearing deposits, (2) to help define regional metallogenic framework studies to understand geotectonic controls on the distribution of critical mineral-bearing systems, (3) to better understand, environmental pathways and biogeochemical behavior of critical and associated metals, (4) to support methods development of critical mineral designation (i.e., criticality and supply risk analysis), and (5) that would contribute to the understanding of the life-cycle and materials flow analysis of critical commodities. For the purpose of this solicitation critical mineral commodities are defined as follows (in alphabetical order): cobalt, gallium, indium, lithium, niobium, platinum group elements, rare earth elements, rhenium, tantalum, and tellurium.

A total of $261,645.00 was awarded to the top six ranked proposals. The USGS is pleased to announce that it will support the following six research projects in the FY 2012 MRERP, listed in alphabetical order by principal investigator(s):

Proposal Title: Evaluating mechanisms for rare earth phosphate mineralization in Proterozoic gneiss, Music Valley, California

Principal Investigator: John Cottle
Affiliation: University of California, Santa Barbara
Award Number: G12AP20049
Final Report File Provided: 

Proposal Title: Collaborative Research with the University of Nebraska and the University of Colorado on the Age and Origin of the REE-rich Elk Creek Carbonatite, Southeast Nebraska (USA)

Principal Investigator: Lang Farmer 
Affiliation: University of Colorado
Award Number: G12AP20052
Final Report File Provided: 

Proposal Title: Collaborative Research with the University of Nebraska and the University of Colorado on the Age and Origin of the REE-rich Elk Creek Carbonatite, Southeast Nebraska (USA)

Principal Investigator: Richard M. Kettler and R. M. Joeckel 
Affiliation: University of Nebraska-Lincoln 
Award Number: G12AP20053
Final Report Files Provided: 

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Proposal Title: Systematic investigation of REE mobility and fractionation during continental shale weathering

Principal Investigator: Lin Ma and Lixin Jin 
Affiliation: University of Texas at El Paso 
Award Number: G12AP20050 
Final Report File Provided: 

Proposal Title: Rare earth element (REE) potential and origin of the Cambrian-Ordovician syenites/episyenites in the Caballo and Burro Mountains, southern New Mexico

Principal Investigator: Virginia T. McLemore and Nelia Dunbar 
Affiliation: New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources 
Award Number: G12AP20051
Final Report Files Provided: 

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Proposal Title: Mineralogy and chemistry of tellurium in the hypogene and supergene environments

Principal Investigator: Paul G. Spry 
Affiliation: Iowa State University 
Award Number: G12AP20054
Final Report Files Provided: 

“The views and conclusions contained in the progress report documents posted herein are those of non-U.S. Geological Survey authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the views or official policies, either expressed or implied, of the U.S. Government.”

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