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Global mineral resource assessment

October 19, 2012


In response to the growing demand for information on the global mineral-resource base, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is conducting the Quantitative Global Mineral Resource Assessment Project (GMRAP), a cooperative international project, begun in 2002, to assess the world's undiscovered nonfuel mineral resources.

Primary Objectives

The USGS conducts national and global assessments of resources (mineral, energy, water, biologic) to provide science in support of decisionmaking.  Mineral resource assessments provide a synthesis of available information about where mineral deposits are known and suspected in the Earth’s crust, what commodities may be present, and estimates of amounts of resources that may be present in undiscovered deposits.  The Global Mineral Resource Assessment Project started in 2002 as a cooperative international effort to assess the world’s undiscovered nonfuel mineral resources.  Primary objectives are to:

  • Outline the regional locations and estimate the probable amounts of the world’s undiscovered resources of copper, platinum-group elements (PGE), and potash in selected types of mineral deposits to depths of 1 to 3 kilometers below the Earth’s surface.
  • Provide the first globally consistent and comprehensive analysis of undiscovered nonfuel mineral resources to provide all nations with a regional and global context for evaluating their mineral resources, planning for new mineral exploration and anticipating the economic, environmental, and social impacts of mineral development, and making land use decisions.

The project emphasizes the most important types of mineral deposits for world supply of copper, platinum-group elements (PGE) and nickel, and potash.

Go to the Quantitative Global Mineral-Resource Assessments home page for more information.