Energy and Minerals
Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs
Mineral: Bastnaesite (the reddish parts) in Carbonatite
Mineral Origin: Mountain Pass, CA
Primary Commodity: Rare earth elements
Primary Commodity Uses: Rare earth elements are used to make strong magnets for smartphone speakers, microphones, vibration motors, smartphone screens, as well as many other high-tech...
- How does a scanning electron microscope (SEM) work?
- What does USGS study with the SEM?
- Mineral and energy resources
- Soil and aquifer processes
By Leslie Hayden, USGS Geologist, Diane Moore, USGS Geologist, Kathryn Watts, USGS Research Geologist, Marjorie Schulz, USGS Research Hydrologist, and Laura...
Scintillometer and torrs of the Melozitna granite in the Ruby batholith. This granite contains abundant monazite and high levels of thorium and rare earth elements. This area is part of the Bureau of Land Management's Central Yukon Planning Area, which USGS did a mineral assessment of in 2015.
The National Minerals Information Center, the primary agency for collecting and analyzing nonfuel minerals information, releases the 2017 Mineral Commodity Summaries, a collection of reports on over 85 commodities essential to the U.S. economy and national security.
A sample of pyrite and quartz. Iron pyrite, also known as Fool's Gold due to its resemblance to gold, often occurs in quartz veins. Pyrite is an important source of sulfur dioxide, which is primarily used to create sulfuric acid, an important industrial acid. In fact, consumption of sulfuric acid has been regarded as one of the best indexes of a nation's industrial development. More sulfuric...
A sample of native gold. Gold has been treasured since ancient times for its beauty and permanence. Most of the gold that is fabricated today goes into the manufacture of jewelry, but it also performs critical functions in computers, communications equipment, spacecraft, jet aircraft engines, and a host of other products. Read more about gold...
This is a sample of rutile, one of the primary mineral sources of titanium. While as a metal, titanium is well known for corrosion resistance and for its high strength-to-weight ratio, approximately 95% of titanium is consumed in the form of titanium dioxide (TiO2), a white pigment used in paints, paper, and plastics. Read more about titanium...
A sample of augelite and quartz. Augelite is an aluminum phosphate mineral, primarily prized for collecting rather than as a source for its industrial mineral components.
Sample provided by Carlin Green, USGS. Sample originated from Mundo Nuevo Mine, Peru, and is 3.7cm in size.
This is a sample of axinite with iron, making it ferroaxinite. Axinite is primarily used as a collectors mineral.
Sample provided by Carlin Green, USGS. Sample originated from Puiva Mount, Russia, and is 3.0cm in size.
A sample of azurite, the blue mineral, and malachite, the green mineral. Both azurite and malachite are copper minerals that were once used as pigments but are now mostly valued as collectors minerals. They do serve as good indicators of copper deposits that can be developed. Read more information about copper here.
Sample provided by...
This sample is clinozoisite, a calcium aluminum silicate mineral. It is mostly prized as a collectors mineral rather than a source of its industrial mineral commodities.
Sample provided by Carlin Green, USGS. Sample originated from Hachupa, Pakistan, and is 6.0cm in size.
Elbaite is one of the best-known members of the tourmaline mineral family, particularly for its high-quality gemstones. Read more about the tourmaline mineral family here.
Sample provided by Carlin Green, USGS. Sample originated from Himalaya Mine, California, and is 4.9cm in size.
In 2016, these five states led the pack in mineral production, accounting for about one third of the total mineral production value for the entire country.
USGS Estimates 304 Trillion Cubic Feet of Natural Gas in the Bossier and Haynesville Formations of the U.S. Gulf Coast
USGS also estimates 4 billion barrels of oil and 2 billion barrels of natural gas liquids in the two formations.
Look, in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s...underground mineral research?
The USGS National Minerals Information Center tracks how much the United States relies on other countries for minerals critical to the economy and national security.
It’s not a caffeinated ghost, but this EarthWord is nearly as trippy...
Managing 72 million acres of Federal lands in Alaska is not easy, especially when the land’s many uses need to be balanced. There are several competing interests, including the development of mineral resources that are critical to the American economy.
In 2016, the United States mined $74.6 billion worth of minerals, and the following five mineral commodities accounted for 68.5 percent of that value.
Today’s high-end electronics increasingly rely on mineral commodities...and research into those mineral commodities is increasingly using high-end electronics too!
Earlier this year, Apple’s iPhone celebrated the 10th anniversary of its introduction to the world, an event that fueled a transformation within the technology and communications sector. This revolution would influence billions of smartphone users around the world forever altering many aspects of human life.
On an ordinary Tuesday in 2014, David Pineault, an economist at the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), reviewed his specialized reports and came to a startling conclusion: the United States needed to increase its stockpile of a basic manufacturing material with military applications—yttrium oxide, a material used in laser rangefinders.