How can I find U.S. Bureau of Mines publications?

After 85 years of service, the U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) closed in 1996. Certain functions, such as the collection, analysis, and dissemination of minerals information, have been returned to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). For information on former USBM programs or publications, please see the following sources:

  • The National Technical Reports Library (part of the National Technical information Service) has a "legacy" collection of USBM publications dating from 1910-1996. These publications represent most of the research work done by the USBM in the fields of mining technology, mine safety and health, and the mineral industry.
  • The Minerals Information Program was transferred to U.S. Geological Survey, now a part of our Mineral Resources Program. Send an email to
  • Interlibrary loan - get assistance from a reference librarian at a public or private library.

USGS information about mines is on our Mineral Resources Online Spatial Data website.


Related Content

Filter Total Items: 4

How large is a lifetime supply of minerals for the average person?

At today's level of consumption, the average newborn infant will need a lifetime supply of: 871 pounds of lead 502 pounds of zinc 950 pounds of copper 2,692 pounds of aluminum 21,645 pounds of iron ore 11,614 pounds of clays 30,091 pounds of salt 1,420,000 pounds of stone, sand, gravel, and cement Learn more: Mineral Resources Education Products

How many pounds of minerals are required by the average person in a year?

To maintain our standard of living, each person in the United States requires over 40,630 pounds of minerals each year: 10, 765 pounds of stone 7,254 pounds of sand and gravel 685 pounds of cement 148 pounds of clays 383 pounds of salt 275 pounds of iron ore 168 pounds of phosphate rock 35 pounds of soda ash 34 pounds of aluminum 12 pounds of...

How do we extract minerals?

The primary methods used to extract minerals from the ground are: Underground mining Surface (open pit) mining Placer mining The location and shape of the deposit, strength of the rock, ore grade, mining costs, and current market price of the commodity are some of the determining factors for selecting which mining method to use. Higher-grade...

How does mine drainage occur?

Mine drainage is formed when pyrite (an iron sulfide) is exposed and reacts with air and water to form sulfuric acid and dissolved iron. Some or all of this iron can precipitate to form the red, orange, or yellow sediments in the bottom of streams containing mine drainage. The acid runoff further dissolves heavy metals such as copper, lead, and...
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Date published: July 17, 2017

Rich, Attractive, and Extremely Shallow

No, it’s not a title for a new reality-dating TV show, but it is real science! It also describes the ideal mineral deposit.

Date published: April 25, 2017


Whether you pan for gold or rare earths, you’ll get a lot of sand...and this EarthWord!

Date published: April 12, 2017

Risk and Reliance: The U.S. Economy and Mineral Resources

The USGS National Minerals Information Center tracks how much the United States relies on other countries for minerals critical to the economy and national security.

Date published: April 4, 2017

Ordinary Minerals Give Smartphones Extraordinary Capabilities

Earlier this year, Apple’s iPhone celebrated the 10th anniversary of its introduction to the world, an event that fueled a transformation within the technology and communications sector. This revolution would influence billions of smartphone users around the world forever altering many aspects of human life. 

Date published: December 14, 2016

Cutting-Edge Tools to Explore Alaska’s Mineral Potential

Managing 72 million acres of Federal lands in Alaska is not easy, especially when the land’s many uses need to be balanced. There are several competing interests, including the development of mineral resources that are critical to the American economy.

Date published: May 6, 2016

EarthWord - Mother Lode

Happy Mother's Day from EarthWords!

Date published: February 15, 2016

EarthWord – Ore

The naturally occurring material from which a mineral or minerals of economic value can be extracted. Usually minerals, especially metals, are mined first in ore form, then refined later.

Date published: October 5, 2007

Critical Minerals and the U.S. Economy

Minerals critical to the U.S. economy are identified in a new report funded by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Mining Association.

Date published: December 7, 2006

Deck the Halls with Boughs of...Minerals?

Are cobalt oxide, sulfur, and cadmium sulfide used to make the traditional holiday hues in your seasonal decorations? Of course they are! According to U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists who collect worldwide data on almost all mineral resources, holiday lights are made with these and other minerals from around the world. 

Date published: February 21, 2001

Abrasives to Zirconium–New Report Card on Nation's $429 Billion Minerals Industry

U.S. output of mineral-based materials contributed nearly $429 billion to support the nation’s economy in 2000, according to a new report from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Filter Total Items: 19
Minerals in mobile devices infographic
April 6, 2017

Minerals in Mobile Devices — Infographic

This infographic displays the different minerals located in mobile devices. Included within this infographic are:

  • Display: Silica Sand and Bauxite
    Silica Sand: A mobile device's glass screen is very durable because glassmakers combine its main ingredient, silica (silicon dioxide or quartz) sand, with ceramic materials and then add potassium.
Image shows coal being loaded into trucks at a coal mine
December 31, 2016

Loading Coal in the Trapper Mine

Coal is loaded into trucks at the Trapper Mine in northwest Colorado.

Uranium mine evaporation pond
December 31, 2016

Uranium mine evaporation pond

Uranium mine evaporation pond

Ray Copper Mine
December 13, 2016

Ray Copper Mine

Copper mines can be loud and sometimes chaotic places, but they provide Zambia with plenty of revenue and jobs. Photograph credit: Mark Cocker, USGS

Image shows remnants of an abandoned mine in a hilly, forested area
December 31, 2015

Tailings of the Cinnabar Mine in Idaho

Mine tailings from the abandoned Cinnabar Mine in Idaho.

Image: Soil Sampling Near Uranium Mine
October 23, 2014

Soil Sampling Near Uranium Mine

USGS Scientists Sarah Davis, Taylor Mills, and David Naftz collect soil samples near the Pinenut uranium mine. Mine features visible in the background include the gray ore stockpile at the far left, the head frame used to access the underground mine workings at mid left, and the detention pond containing all water produced on the mine site on the right.  

Image: Supergene Leached Zone at Silver Bell Mine
January 1, 2010

Supergene Leached Zone at Silver Bell Mine

Supergene Leached zone at Silver Bell Mine, AZ.

Image: Sampling Acid Mine Drainage in Elk_County, PA
November 6, 2007

Sampling Acid Mine Drainage in Elk_County, PA

Sampling acid mine drainage residuals in Elk County, Pennsylvania.  The USGS has pioneered a new use for these residuals that are currently a disposal challenge, using them to filter phosphorus from agricultural and municipal wastewaters.

Attribution: Water Resources
Drilling for mineral resources near Canyonlands National Park, Utah
May 31, 2007

Drilling for mineral resources near Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Drilling for mineral resources near Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Climate change combined with overlapping high-intensity land uses are likely to create conditions detrimental to the recreation economy, wildlife habitat, water availability and other resources in hyper-arid landscapes, or drylands, in the future, according to a paper published in Ecosphere

Image: Phosphate Mine Pile
June 30, 2006

Phosphate Mine Pile

A phosphate mine tailing pile taken in the Southern Coastal Plain Ecoregion (FL) in July 2006.

Attribution: Land Resources
Image: Abandoned Mine Shaft
July 31, 2002

Abandoned Mine Shaft

 An abandoned mine shaft taken in the Mojave Basin and Range Ecoregion (NV) in August 2002.

Attribution: Land Resources