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June 15, 2021


As Spring 2021 ends, here are a few highlights from the USGS Mineral Resources Program’s recent activities and publications. 


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(Photograph by Thomas P. Dolley, USGS Public Domain.)

Mineral Commodity Summaries

In February, the USGS National Minerals Information Center put out its 2021 edition of the Mineral Commodity Summaries, a long-running publication that provides a comprehensive source of mineral production data for the world and includes information on the domestic industry structure, government programs, tariffs and five-year salient statistics on more than 88 mineral commodities that are important to the U.S. economy and national security.


Cessna 208B Grand Caravan in Flight
Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, airplane used to conduct low-level flights. (Image courtesy of Sander Geophysics Limited.)

Earth MRI Airborne Surveys

As part of the Earth MRI project, the USGS and state geological surveys undertook airborne geophysical surveys in Colorado, Maine, and Minnesota. Instruments on the airplanes will measure variations in the Earth’s magnetic field and natural low-level radiation created by different rock types up to several miles beneath the surface. This information will help researchers develop geologic maps in three dimensions, which can provide scientists with the framework needed to better evaluate natural resources, groundwater or earthquake hazards. 

Image shows a satellite view of the United States, with parts of Mexico and Canada visible.
Updates to USMIN for niobium showing sites with more than 25,000 metric tons of niobium metal. (Public domain.)

Critical Mineral Updates to USMIN

The USGS has been adding critical mineral information to its USMIN database, a national-scale geospatial database that is the authoritative source for the most important mines, mineral deposits and mineral districts of the U.S. Recent additions consist of U.S. sites that include mineral regions, mines and mineral occurrences that contain enrichments of gallium, niobium and tantalum.

Recent Publications 

More USGS Mineral Resources Program Publications can be found here

Recent Data Releases 

More USGS Mineral Resources Program Data Releases can be found here

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