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Mineral Resources Program

The USGS Mineral Resources Program (MRP) delivers unbiased science and information to increase understanding of ore formation, undiscovered mineral resource potential, production, consumption, and how minerals interact with the environment. MRP supports data collection and research on a wide variety of non-fuel mineral resources that are important to the Nation’s economic and national security.

News

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Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds geologic mapping in Oklahoma

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Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds geologic mapping in Nevada

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Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds geologic mapping in Texas

Publications

A novel non-destructive workflow for examining germanium and co-substituents in ZnS

A suite of complementary techniques was used to examine germanium (Ge), a byproduct critical element, and co-substituent trace elements in ZnS and mine wastes from four mineral districts where germanium is, or has been, produced within the United States. This contribution establishes a comprehensive workflow for characterizing Ge and other trace elements, which captures the full heterogeneity of s

Geophysical data provide three dimensional insights into porphyry copper systems in the Silverton caldera, Colorado, USA

The Silverton caldera in southwest Colorado, USA hosts polymetallic veins and pervasively altered rocks indicative of porphyry copper systems. Nearly a kilometer of erosion has exposed multiple levels of the hydrothermal systems from shallow lithocaps down to quartz-sericite-pyrite veins. New airborne electromagnetic and magnetic survey data are integrated with previous alteration mapping and porp

First principles calibration of 40Ar abundances in 40Ar/39Ar mineral neutron fluence monitors: Methodology and preliminary results

The accuracy and traceability of geochronometers are of vital importance to questions asked by many Earth scientists. The widely applied 40Ar/39Ar geochronometer relies on the co-irradiation of samples with neutron fluence monitors (reference materials) of known ages; the ages and uncertainties of these monitors are critical to our ability to apply this chronometer. Previously, first principles, a

Science

From Outcrop to Ions: development and application of in-situ isotope ratio measurements to solve geologic problems

Project objectives are to (1) develop innovative analytical techniques for isotope geochemistry and U-Pb geochronology using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), and (2) apply these techniques to collaborative research projects of high priority to the Mineral Resources Program, including studies related to the formation of "critical mineral" deposits, and...
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From Outcrop to Ions: development and application of in-situ isotope ratio measurements to solve geologic problems

Project objectives are to (1) develop innovative analytical techniques for isotope geochemistry and U-Pb geochronology using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), and (2) apply these techniques to collaborative research projects of high priority to the Mineral Resources Program, including studies related to the formation of "critical mineral" deposits, and...
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Salmon River Mountains Legacy Mining Studies

The objective of this study is to characterize the regional impact of legacy mining in the context of framework geology for the Salmon Mountains in central Idaho. This objective is addressed through three interrelated tasks: 1) framework geology, 2) watershed biogeochemical processes, and 3) characterization of trace metals in colloids (fine particles suspended in water).
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Salmon River Mountains Legacy Mining Studies

The objective of this study is to characterize the regional impact of legacy mining in the context of framework geology for the Salmon Mountains in central Idaho. This objective is addressed through three interrelated tasks: 1) framework geology, 2) watershed biogeochemical processes, and 3) characterization of trace metals in colloids (fine particles suspended in water).
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Northern Rocky Mountains Transect

The goal of the Northern Rocky Mountains Transect (NRMT) project is to produce updated geologic maps of an important and understudied region of Idaho and western Montana that covers a wide array of distinct geologic terrains.
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Northern Rocky Mountains Transect

The goal of the Northern Rocky Mountains Transect (NRMT) project is to produce updated geologic maps of an important and understudied region of Idaho and western Montana that covers a wide array of distinct geologic terrains.
Learn More