USMIN Mineral Deposit Database

Science Center Objects

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.

Science Issue and Relevance

data location map

USGS Data Release Prospect- and Mine-Related Features from U.S. Geological Survey 7.5- and 15-Minute Topographic Quadrangle Maps of the United States (location map thumbnail for Version 3 April 2019 release).

(Public domain.)

One of the key missions of the USGS Mineral Resources Program is the collection and dissemination of mineral resources information. This information is used by the USGS, other government agencies (State and Federal), private industry and the general public. An accurate, up-to-date mineral deposit database utilizing current geospatial technologies is needed to meet the needs of USGS research, state and federal land management agencies, private industry, and the general public.

In the 1960's, the USGS and the U.S. Bureau of Mines developed national-scale mine and mineral deposit databases. After the Bureau of Mine's 1996 closure, the USGS acquired custody of their Minerals Availability System (MAS) and Minerals Industry Location System (MILS) databases. In 2000, the MAS/MILS was merged with the USGS Mineral Resource Data System (MRDS) to form a single database. Much of the data initially captured in the Mineral Resource Data System was recorded prior to the development and widespread use of modern geospatial technologies. Additionally, differing data entry procedures of both Bureau of Mines and USGS resulted in different outcomes. Due to these issues, it was decided that the mineral resources database of the U.S. needed to be modernized.

An updated mineral deposit database will provide a high-quality, consistent mine and deposit inventory to support U.S. actions and policies on mineral resources and land management. 

Methodology to Address the Issue

database information graphic

USMIN MIneral Deposit Database - graphic of the information contained in the database. For mineral deposit data, although prospects are included, the emphasis is on deposits, mines, and districts.

(Credit: Carma San Juan, USGS. Public domain.)

Our goal 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. The initial focus was on the western states, with plans to collect data for all of the U.S. Our major tasks are:

  • Compile comprehensive mineral deposit data; focus since May 2017 has been critical minerals

  • Capture mine symbol data from USGS historic topographic maps at 3 scales and multiple versions

 

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