Mission Areas

Energy and Minerals

The Energy and Minerals Mission Area conducts research and assessments that focus on the location, quantity, and quality of mineral and energy resources, including the economic and environmental effects of resource extraction and use.

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Energy Resources Program

Energy Resources Program

Conducts basic and applied research on geologic energy resources and on the environmental, economic, and human health impacts of their production and use.The program is also involved in studying the impacts of wind and solar energy development.

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Mineral Resources Program

Mineral Resources Program

Provides scientific information for objective resource assessments and unbiased research results on mineral potential, production, consumption, and environmental effects. The MRP is the sole Federal source for this information.

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News

Date published: February 16, 2021

USGS Updates Mineral Database with Niobium Deposits in the United States 

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has updated its USMIN Mineral Deposit Database (USMIN) for the mineral commodity niobium, one of 35 mineral commodities declared critical by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Sites in this dataset occur in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Nebraska and Texas.

Date published: February 5, 2021

USGS Releases Estimate of Natural Gas in Alaska's Western North Slope

USGS provides its first estimate of conventional natural gas resources in rock formations west of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The rock formations in this region are believed to contain no recoverable oil deposits, so no assessment was made of those resources in this study. 

Date published: February 4, 2021

Low-Flying Airplane Mapping Parts of Northeastern California

Residents should not be alarmed if they see a low-flying airplane over parts of northeastern California starting February 6, 2021.

Publications

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Year Published: 2020

Focus areas for data acquisition for potential domestic resources of 11 critical minerals in the conterminous United States, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico—Aluminum, cobalt, graphite, lithium, niobium, platinum-group elements, rare earth elements, tantalum, tin, titanium, and tungsten

In response to a need for information on potential domestic sources of critical minerals, the Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI) was established to identify and prioritize areas for acquisition of new geologic mapping, geophysical data, and elevation data to improve our knowledge of the geologic framework of the United States. Phase 1...

Hammarstrom, Jane M.; Dicken, Connie L.; Day, Warren C.; Hofstra, Albert H.; Drenth, Benjamin J.; Shah, Anjana K.; McCafferty, Anne E.; Woodruff, Laurel G.; Foley, Nora K.; Ponce, David A.; Frost, Thomas P.; Stillings, Lisa L.
Hammarstrom, J.M., Dicken, C.L., Day, W.C., Hofstra, A.H., Drenth, B.J., Shah, A.K., McCafferty, A.E., Woodruff, L.G., Foley, N.K., Ponce, D.A., Frost, T.P., and Stillings, L.L., 2020, Focus areas for data acquisition for potential domestic resources of 11 critical minerals in the conterminous United States, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico—Aluminum, cobalt, graphite, lithium, niobium, platinum-group elements, rare earth elements, tantalum, tin, titanium, and tungsten, chap. B of U.S. Geological Survey, Focus areas for data acquisition for potential domestic sources of critical minerals: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1023, 67 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191023B.

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Year Published: 2020

Focus areas for data acquisition for potential domestic resources of 11 critical minerals in Alaska—Aluminum, cobalt, graphite, lithium, niobium, platinum group elements, rare earth elements, tantalum, tin, titanium, and tungsten, chap. C of U.S. Geological Survey, Focus areas for data acquisition for potential domestic sources of critical minerals

Phase 2 of the Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI) focuses on geologic belts that are favorable for hosting mineral systems that may contain select critical minerals. Phase 1 of the Earth MRI program focused on rare earth elements (REE), and phase 2 adds aluminum, cobalt, graphite, lithium, niobium, platinum-group metals, tantalum, tin...

Kreiner, Douglas C.; Jones, James V.
Kreiner, D.C., and Jones, J.V., 2020, Focus areas for data acquisition for potential domestic resources of 11 critical minerals in Alaska—Aluminum, cobalt, graphite, lithium, niobium, platinum group elements, rare earth elements, tantalum, tin, titanium, and tungsten, chap. C of U.S. Geological Survey, Focus areas for data acquisition for potential domestic sources of critical minerals: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1023, 20 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191023C.

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Year Published: 2020

International geoscience collaboration to support critical mineral discovery

The importance of critical minerals and the need to expand and diversify critical mineral supply chains has been endorsed by the Federal governments of Australia, Canada, and the United States. The geoscience organizations of Geoscience Australia, the Geological Survey of Canada and the U.S. Geological Survey have created the Critical Minerals...

Kelley, K.D., 2020, International geoscience collaboration to support critical mineral discovery: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2020–3035, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20203035.