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Results from our Program’s research and minerals information activities are published in USGS publications series as well as in outside journals.  To follow Minerals Information Periodicals, subscribe to the Mineral Periodicals RSS feed.

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Insights into the metamorphic history and origin of flake graphite mineralization at the Graphite Creek graphite deposit, Seward Peninsula, Alaska, USA

Graphite Creek is an unusual flake graphite deposit located on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska, USA. We present field observations, uranium-lead (U–Pb) monazite and titanite geochronology, carbon (C) and sulfur (S) stable isotope geochemistry, and graphite Raman spectroscopy data from this deposit that support a new model of flake graphite ore genesis in high-grade metamorphic environments. The Graph

National map of focus areas for potential critical mineral resources in the United States

Introduction The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) launched the Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI) to modernize the surface and subsurface geologic mapping of the United States, with a focus on identifying areas that may have the potential to contain critical mineral resources. EarthMRI can inform strategies to ensure secure and reliable domestic critical mineral supplies for the United St

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

40Ar/39Ar geochronology of magmatic-steam alunite from Alunite Ridge and Deer Trail Mountain, Marysvale Volcanic Field, Utah: Timing and duration of miocene hydrothermal activity associated with concealed intrusions

Porphyry and epithermal deposits are important sources of base and precious metals. Most actively mined deposits have been exhumed such that ore bodies are relatively close to the surface and are therefore locatable and economic to extract. Identifying and characterizing concealed deposits, particularly more deeply buried porphyry deposits, represents a far greater challenge for mineral exploratio

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

Tectonics, fault zones, and topography in the Alaska-Canada Cordillera with a focus on the Alaska Range and Denali fault zone

Synergistic interactions between geologic structures and topography have long been recognized to reflect numerous Earth processes and rock properties over time. It was not until the advent of plate tectonics in the midtwentieth century that researchers began to view the nature of the northern Cordillera orogen as a quilt of foreign pieces of crust or “suspect terranes”. The Alaska Range shows comp

A case of Te-rich low-sulfidation epithermal Au-Ag deposits in a calc-alkaline magmatic arc, NE China

Tellurium-bearing low-sulfidation epithermal Au-Ag deposits are significant producers of gold, silver, and potentially strategic elements if mineral processing methods are optimized for recovery. Although these deposits are generally related to alkaline magmatism, our study documents an unusual occurrence of Te-rich low-sulfidation epithermal systems in the North Heilongjiang Belt in northeast Chi

Formation of orogenic gold deposits by progressive movement of a fault-fracture mesh through the upper crustal brittle-ductile transition zone

Orogenic gold deposits are comprised of complex quartz vein arrays that form as a result of fluid flow along transcrustal fault zones in active orogenic belts. Mineral precipitation in these deposits occurs under variable pressure conditions, but a mechanism explaining how the pressure regimes evolve through time has not previously been proposed. Here we show that extensional quartz veins at the G

Antimony in mine wastes: Geochemistry, mineralogy, microbiology

Antimony (Sb) is a valuable mined commodity, used mostly in fire retardants, and considered a critical element. It is also a potential environment hazard classed as a carcinogen. Antimony is concentrated in tailings and waste rock from Sb mines as well as other locations, such as precious metal deposits, where Sb is present in the ore but not recovered. This review covers the aqueous geochemistry,

Microbial endophytes and compost improve plant growth in two contrasting types of hard rock mining waste

The re-vegetation of mining wastes with native plants is a comparatively low-cost solution for mine reclamation. However, re-vegetation fails when extreme pH values, low organic matter, or high concentrations of phytotoxic elements inhibit plant establishment and growth. Our aim was to determine whether the combined addition of municipal waste compost and diazotrophic endophytes (i.e., microorgani

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