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: May 23, 2018
Status: Active

National Geochemical Database

The National Geochemical Database project assembles, reformats, corrects, and archives historical data obtained from the geochemical analysis of millions of geologic samples collected for USGS studies. These data, representing hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of USGS research, are provided to USGS researchers; other Federal agencies; State Geological Surveys and Environmental Protection...

Contacts: Steven M Smith
Date published: May 22, 2018
Status: Active

Tectonic and Metallogenic Evolution of the Eastern Yukon-Tanana Upland, Alaska

The Yukon-Tanana terrane, stretching from eastern Alaska to northern British Columbia, is a geologically complex block containing deposits of base-metal, platinum-group-element, and gold-silver-copper mineralization.

Date published: May 22, 2018
Status: Active

Petrology, Tectonic Setting, and Potential for Concentration of Rare Earth Elements (REE) and High Field Strength Elements (HFSE) in the High-K Darby and Kachauik Plutons, Seward Peninsula, Alaska

One of the geologic environments that host rare earth and other critical and strategic element deposits are alkaline intrusive rocks.

Date published: May 22, 2018
Status: Completed

Metallogeny and Tectonics of the Lake Clark and Neacola Mountains Region, South-central Alaska

Alaska hosts a well-documented belt of ore deposits that lies roughly parallel to the Alaska Range, beginning at the Alaska Peninsula in the southwest, continuing up through the Fairbanks Mining District in the north, and curving back into the Tintina Gold Belt on its eastern end. Known mineral prospects and occurrences include porphyry copper, intrusion-related gold, volcanogenic massive...

Date published: May 22, 2018
Status: Active

GIS Prospectivity Analysis for Critical Minerals in Ore-Forming Systems in Alaska

Alaska is dominated by a history of tectonic events that foster mobilization and concentration of a wide variety of mineral commodities that are critical to the US economy and are vital to national defense, renewable-energy, and emerging electronics technologies.

Date published: May 14, 2018
Status: Active

New Applications of Hyperspectral Imaging to Delineate Critical Minerals Concentrated in Regolith and Mine Waste Materials

Our project will develop new and innovative spectral methods and remote sensing tools for understanding how critical minerals are concentrated by weathering, regolith/soil formation, mining, runoff and ore processing. These tools will help us to use mineralogy derived from spectral measurements (lab, field, and remote sensing) to help delineate vectors towards recoverable resources and to...

Contacts: Bernard Hubbard
Date published: May 8, 2018
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: April 11, 2018
Status: Active

Development and Validation of Hyperspectral Imager for Field and Lab Scanning

The Mineral Resources Program has advanced methods of imaging spectroscopy (hyperspectral remote sensing) that are now used routinely by the earth science and remote sensing communities for mineral mapping, soil quality mapping, hazard mitigation, and other terrestrial and planetary applications. The USGS is highly qualified to advance this technology based on its world class expertise in...

Contacts: Raymond Kokaly
Date published: April 6, 2018
Status: Active

USGS High Resolution Spectral Library

The USGS Spectral Library contains reflectance spectra, including samples of minerals, rocks, soils, physically constructed as well as mathematically computed mixtures, plants, vegetation communities, microorganisms, and man-made materials. The samples and spectra collected were assembled for the purpose of using spectral features for the remote detection of these and similar materials. The...

Date published: April 3, 2018
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: October 30, 2017
Status: Completed

Geologic Map of Alaska

In January 2015, the U.S. Geological Survey released the first ever digital geologic map of Alaska. This map reflects more than a century of work and provides a visual context for the abundant mineral and energy resources found throughout the state. The map is available to use in three different formats: a professional GIS database, a public interactive version via a web browser, and an...

Date published: January 1, 2017
Status: Completed

Western Alaska Range Metallogeny and Tectonics

There are many different types of mineral deposits present in the Western Alaska Range: plutonic gold, porphyry copper-gold (Pebble prospect), epithermal gold, tin-silver skarns, sedimentary barite, mafic hosted nickle-platinum-group elements, uranium-thorium rare earth elements, and even a diamond prospect.