Mineral Resources Program

Regional Studies and Mineral Resources

Geologic, geophysical, and geochemical studies are used to evaluate the mineral endowment of strategic and critical minerals in selected regions of the United States.  Understanding the formation of major mineral deposits, which provide for society’s needed resources, can have broad impact on the economy and the environment.

Filter Total Items: 32
Date published: September 25, 2019
Status: Active

Alaska Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI)

Our objective is to provide a strategic framework for planning, coordination, and execution of the USGS Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI) in Alaska. Earth MRI aims to improve knowledge of the U.S. geologic framework through new geological and geophysical mapping and to identify areas that have the potential to contain undiscovered critical mineral resources.

Date published: August 9, 2018
Status: Active

Antimony In and Around the Yellow Pine Deposit, Central Idaho

Project objectives are to document the origin of the Yellow Pine gold-antimony deposit and, by extension, the origin of this deposit type. Our goal is to understand the structural, tectonic, and magmatic setting of the deposit, the character of the ore-transporting fluids, the conditions of ore deposition, and the regional stratigraphic framework and geochemical ore controls of metasedimentary...

Date published: August 3, 2018
Status: Active

Synthesis of the Tectonic, Magmatic, and Metallogenic Evolution of the Midcontinent Rift System

The overall project objective is to develop a comprehensive synthesis of the tectonic, magmatic, and metallogenic evolution of the Midcontinent Rift System (MRS) through time by integrating geophysical, magmatic, and geochemical data and to create 3-D models of the rift over its evolution.

Contacts: Laurel Woodruff
Date published: August 1, 2018
Status: Active

Mineral Resource Online Data Catalog

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

Date published: August 1, 2018
Status: Completed

Magmatic-Tectonic History and Component Sources of Major Precious Metal Deposits in the Tonopah, Goldfield, and Comstock Lode Districts, NV

Project objectives are refinement of stratigraphy, structure, and magmatic-hydrothermal evolution of the Tonopah, Goldfield, and Comstock Lode districts, and determination of the sources of hydrothermal mineral components. Results are expected to  include refined geologic and tectonic maps of important districts in the Walker Lane, reduced uncertainty in sources of elements in ore deposits,...

Date published: August 1, 2018
Status: Completed

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. The goal is to determine the role of magmatism...

Date published: July 31, 2018
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 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

Great Basin Metallogeny and Regional Structure - New Interpretations of Magnetic and Gravity Data

This project incorporates new geophysical technologies developed at the Tucson office of the Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center over the last 20 years for assessing mineral deposits concealed by basin sediments. These technologies include: textural classification of magnetic and magnetotelluric data and methods to characterize bedrock/basement lithologies, improved...

Contacts: Mark Bultman
Date published: July 31, 2018
Status: Completed

Geochemical Signatures of Covered Mineral Deposits in the Northern Midcontinent

We are evaluating the potential of geochemical prospecting techniques that have shown promise in other covered terranes for mineral exploration in the northern midcontinent of the U.S. Novel components will be added to these methods with the objective of method advancement and improving our understanding of processes controlling the transmission of unique geochemical signatures from buried...

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.