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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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USGS Media Alert: Low-level flights to image 3D geology in northeastern Washington state

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USGS Initiates Environmental Assessment for Energy and Minerals Research Facility in Colorado

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Publications Contribute to Strategic Framework for the Alaska Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI)

Publications

Cathodoluminescence response of barite at room and liquid nitrogen temperatures

Rare earth element (REE) enrichment in the Elk Creek carbonatite, Nebraska USA, is comparable to ore grade enrichment in carbonatite-hosted REE deposits[1]. Petrographic examination of textures documents a complex history of crystallization, brecciation, recrystallization, oxidation, and near surface alteration. Barite (BaSO4) is present in most units, including REE-enriched zones, such that it ma

Graphite as an electrically conductive indicator of ancient crustal-scale fluid flow within mineral systems

Magnetotelluric (MT) imaging results from mineral provinces in Australia and in the United States show an apparent spatial relationship between crustal-scale electrical conductivity anomalies and major magmatic-hydrothermal iron oxide-apatite/iron oxide-copper-gold (IOA-IOCG) deposits. Although these observations have driven substantial interest in the use of MT data to image ancient fluid pathway

Results of automated scanning electron microscope (SEM) analyses of rock and stream sediment samples from the Taurus porphyry copper deposit area, Tanacross quadrangle, eastern Alaska

Numerous porphyry copper-molybdenum-gold and epithermal deposits define a belt that extends from Eastern Alaska to western Yukon, Canada. An orientation study conducted near the Taurus porphyry deposit was designed to test methods that require minimal sample collection, preparation, and analytical time to determine the viability of indicator mineral studies as a reconnaissance exploration method.

Science

Hyperspectral Imaging of Mineral Resources from New and Old Origins: Minerals for the Nation’s Economy and Utilization of Legacy Mine Lands

This project will produce maps of surface mineralogy at 15 m spatial resolution covering the largest contiguous area of hyperspectral imagery that has ever been assembled for the U.S., over 380,000 sq. km. in California and Nevada. We are developing new methods to apply these data to map critical minerals, including minerals critical for battery fabrication, and to evaluate resources available...
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Hyperspectral Imaging of Mineral Resources from New and Old Origins: Minerals for the Nation’s Economy and Utilization of Legacy Mine Lands

This project will produce maps of surface mineralogy at 15 m spatial resolution covering the largest contiguous area of hyperspectral imagery that has ever been assembled for the U.S., over 380,000 sq. km. in California and Nevada. We are developing new methods to apply these data to map critical minerals, including minerals critical for battery fabrication, and to evaluate resources available...
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Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: Critical Minerals

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and Critical Minerals
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21st Century Prospecting: AI-assisted Surveying of Critical Mineral Potential

The USGS Mineral Resources Program entered a partnership with the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA). The partnership objective is to accelerate advances in science for understanding critical minerals, assessing unknown resources, and increase mineral security for the Nation so USGS can more efficiently assess critical mineral deposits within the United States.
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21st Century Prospecting: AI-assisted Surveying of Critical Mineral Potential

The USGS Mineral Resources Program entered a partnership with the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA). The partnership objective is to accelerate advances in science for understanding critical minerals, assessing unknown resources, and increase mineral security for the Nation so USGS can more efficiently assess critical mineral deposits within the United States.
Learn More