Keith Long

Keith is a Research Geologist at the Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in Mineral Economics and a M.S. from the University of Michigan in Geoscience. Since joining the USGS in 1988, he has devoted his career to studying mineral resources and specializes in the economic aspects of mineral resource assessment.


Keith has had a passion for integrating economics and geology since high school.  He double majored in economics and earth science at the University of California Santa Cruz (1979).  After a brief stint with the U.S. Geological Survey, he went to the University of Michigan for a masters in geosciences, completing a paper on the relationship between stratiform and breccias ores in the North Arkansas zinc district.  Keith subsequently returned to mineral economics, earning a doctorate from the University of Arizona with a dissertation on oil and gas resource assessment.   During summers, and between degrees, he worked in mineral exploration, for Anaconda at the Darwin mine in California, U.S. Borax near Canyon City, Colorado, and for Asarco near Lewistown, Montana.  Keith rejoined the USGS in 1989, as a founding member of the Center for Inter-American Mineral Resource Investigations in Tucson, Arizona.  The Center undertook cooperative mineral resource studies in Latin America; he took part in studies in the Bolivian Altiplano and northern Mexico.  In 1995, he was passed to domestic duties, including a study of historical tailings production and disposal practices in the Coeur d’Alene region of Idaho, significant deposits of gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc in the US for the National Mineral Resource Assessment, developing deposit models and grade and tonnage models, and contributing to various regional mineral resources assessments, mainly in the Pacific northwest.  More recent studies have dealt with the economic life-cycle of porphyry copper mining, the role of technology in porphyry copper resource development, and various smaller mineral economic investigations.  In 2005, he assumed the role of project chief for the final year of the Western Region industrial mineral project, subsequently moving on to be co-project chief for the Minerals at Risk and for Emerging Technologies project.  Keith's principal efforts are now directed toward developing economic tools for assessing economic mineral resources and measures of mineral supply risk.

Professional Experience:

  • 1988 to present, Research Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Tucson, AZ


  • Ph.D., Mineral Economics, University of Arizona, 1988
  • M.S., Geosciences, University of Michigan, 1984
  • B.S., Earth Sciences/B.A. Political Economy, University of California Santa Cruz, 1979


  • 1996 to present, Mining History Association
  • 1976 to present, Society of Economic Geologists, Littleton, CO
  • 1980 to present, Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration, Englewood, CO
  • 2005 to present, International Association of Mathematical Geologists
  • 2012 to present, Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO
  • 1988 to present, Arizona Geological Society, Tucson, AZ
  • 1997 to present, Society for Industrial Archaeology
  • 2005 to present, American Institute of Professional Geologists