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RESTON, Va. — The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Michigan Geological Survey are investing $300,000 in mapping the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, one of the most historically important areas of U.S. mineral production for the past 175 years, with copper from the Keweenaw district and White Pine deposit, and iron from the Marquette, Menomonie, and Gogebic iron ranges.

The region also contains the small, very high-grade, conduit-type “Eagle-Lundin” nickel-copper-platinum group elements-cobalt sulfide deposit, metamorphic graphite deposits with minor past production, and secondary manganese production from the Groveland iron mine north of Iron Mountain. Magmatic rare earth element deposits may also be hosted in poorly understood Paleoproterozoic granites.

Potential critical minerals in the project area include cobalt, chromium, cesium, graphite, lithium, manganese, niobium, nickel, the platinum group elements, the rare earth elements, tin, tantalum, titanium and zinc.

The grants for the geologic mapping come from a $74 million investment allocated earlier this year to the USGS Mineral Resources Program’s Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI), provided through annual appropriations and investments from the Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Overall, the Infrastructure Law is providing an appropriated $510.7 million investment to the USGS to advance scientific innovation and map critical minerals.

The new geologic maps will refine our understanding of the geologic framework of mineral areas of interest. In addition to helping identify mineral potential, these maps also support both decisions about the use of land, water, energy and minerals, and understanding the potential impact of geologic hazards on communities.

Earth MRI is a partnership between the USGS and state geological surveys across America to modernize our understanding of the Nation’s fundamental geologic framework and mineral resources through new geologic maps, geophysical and topographic surveys, and geochemical sampling. The 2022 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provided additional funding that has accelerated this new mapping in areas with potential for hosting critical mineral resources both still in the ground and in mine wastes.

More information can be found here. To learn more about how the USGS is investing the resources from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, visit our website. To learn more about USGS mineral resource and commodity information, please visit our website and follow us on Twitter

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