Michael L. Zientek is a research geologist at the Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center. He received a PhD degree in geology from Stanford and a BS degree in geology from the University of Texas. Since joining the USGS in 1983, Michael has devoted his career to studying economic geology and mineral resource assessments and specializes in magmatic ore deposits.
Mike is an economic geologist who works at the USGS Spokane Office, Spokane, Washington. He provides expertise in economic geology, assessment methods, and analysis of global, national, and regional datasets needed to plan, conduct and direct research on a broad range of land-use and mineral-resource-related issues.
His recent resource assessment work includes the SaMiRA assessment for the BLM and the USGS Global Mineral Resource Assessment project.
Mike's research interests include the origin of magmatic ore deposits enriched in platinum-group elements, chromium, and nickel. As part of that effort, he organized and coordinated International Geological Correlation Programme Project 336 from 1992 to 1996, conducted topical studies on the Stillwater Complex in Montana and the Duluth Complex, Minnesota, and worked on projects in Albania, Russia, and Indonesia. He was the Scientist-in-Charge of the Spokane Field Office from 1994 to 1998.
Education and Certifications
PhD, Stanford University
BS, University of Texas
Science and Products
Sediment-hosted stratabound copper assessment of the Neoproterozoic Roan Group, central African copperbelt, Katanga Basin, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia
Sandstone copper assessment of the Teniz Basin, Kazakhstan
Platinum-group elements: so many excellent properties
Porphyry copper assessment of western Central Asia
Porphyry copper assessment of eastern Australia
Platinum-group elements in southern Africa: mineral inventory and an assessment of undiscovered mineral resources
Assessment of undiscovered sandstone copper deposits of the Kodar-Udokan area, Russia
Estimate of undiscovered copper resources of the world, 2013
Tectono-magmatic evolution and distribution of porphyry Cu systems in the Central Tethys Region of Turkey, the Caucasus, Iran, and southern Pakistan
Porphyry copper assessment of Southeast Asia and Melanesia: Chapter D in Global mineral resource assessment
Descriptive models, grade-tonnage relations, and databases for the assessment of sediment-hosted copper deposits: with emphasis on deposits in the Central Africa Copperbelt, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia: Chapter J in Global mineral resou
Dzhezkazgan and associated sandstone copper deposits of the Chu-Sarysu basin, Central Kazakhstan
Science and Products
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Sediment-hosted stratabound copper assessment of the Neoproterozoic Roan Group, central African copperbelt, Katanga Basin, Democratic Republic of the Congo and ZambiaThis study estimates the location, quality, and quantity of undiscovered copper in stratabound deposits within the Neoproterozoic Roan Group of the Katanga Basin in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia. The study area encompasses the Central African Copperbelt, the greatest sediment-hosted copper-cobalt province in the world, containing 152 million metric tons of copper in greater than
Sandstone copper assessment of the Teniz Basin, KazakhstanThe U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducts national and global resource assessments (mineral, energy, water, and biological) to provide data and scientific analyses to support decision making. Three-part mineral resource assessments result in informed, unbiased, quantitative, and probabilistic estimates of undiscovered mineral resources and deposits. In particular, mineral assessment results infor
Platinum-group elements: so many excellent propertiesThe platinum-group elements (PGE) include platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium, and osmium. These metals have similar physical and chemical properties and occur together in nature. The properties of PGE, such as high melting points, corrosion resistance, and catalytic qualities, make them indispensable to many industrial applications. PGE are strategic and critical materials for many n
Porphyry copper assessment of western Central AsiaThe U.S. Geological Survey conducted an assessment of resources associated with porphyry copper deposits in the western Central Asia countries of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan and the southern Urals of Kazakhstan and Russia as part of a global mineral resource assessment. The purpose of the study was to (1) delineate permissive areas (tracts) for undiscovered porphyry copper d
Porphyry copper assessment of eastern AustraliaThe U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducts national and global assessments of resources (mineral, energy, water, and biologic) to provide science in support of decision making. Mineral resource assessments provide syntheses of available information about where mineral deposits are known and suspected to occur in the Earth’s crust and which commodities may be present, together with estimates of amo
Platinum-group elements in southern Africa: mineral inventory and an assessment of undiscovered mineral resourcesThe platinum-group elements, platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium, and osmium, possess unique physical and chemical characteristics that make them indispensable to modern technology and industry. However, mineral deposits that are the main sources of these elements occur only in three countries in the world, raising concerns about potential disruption in mineral supply. Using informati
Assessment of undiscovered sandstone copper deposits of the Kodar-Udokan area, RussiaMineral resource assessments integrate and synthesize available information as a basis for estimating the location, quality, and quantity of undiscovered mineral resources. This probabilistic mineral resource assessment of undiscovered sandstone copper deposits within Paleoproterozoic metasedimentary rocks of the Kodar-Udokan area in Russia is a contribution to a global assessment led by the U.S.
Estimate of undiscovered copper resources of the world, 2013Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated a mean of 3,500 million metric tons (Mt) of undiscovered copper among 225 tracts around the world. Annual U.S. copper consumption is 2 Mt; global consumption is 20 Mt. The USGS assessed undiscovered copper in two deposit types that account for about 80 percent of the world's copper supply. Results of the assessment
Tectono-magmatic evolution and distribution of porphyry Cu systems in the Central Tethys Region of Turkey, the Caucasus, Iran, and southern PakistanRecent compilation of geodynamic, geochemical, geochronologic, and ore deposits data provided an opportunity to review the continental margin, intra-oceanic, and post-collisional tectonic settings in the Central Tethys Region. These settings formed during sequential rifting of microcontinents from the passive margin of Gondwana, their northward transport across the Neo-Tethys Ocean, and their coll
Porphyry copper assessment of Southeast Asia and Melanesia: Chapter D in Global mineral resource assessmentThe U.S. Geological Survey collaborated with member countries of the Coordinating Committee for Geoscience Programmes in East and Southeast Asia (CCOP) on an assessment of the porphyry copper resources of Southeast Asia and Melanesia as part of a global mineral resource assessment. The region hosts world-class porphyry copper deposits and underexplored areas that are likely to contain undiscovered
Descriptive models, grade-tonnage relations, and databases for the assessment of sediment-hosted copper deposits: with emphasis on deposits in the Central Africa Copperbelt, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia: Chapter J in Global mineral resouThe Central African Copperbelt (CACB) is one of the most important copper-producing regions of the world. The majority of copper produced in Africa comes from this region defined by the Neoproterozoic Katanga sedimentary basin of the southern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and northern Zambia. Copper in the CACB is mined from sediment-hosted stratabound copper deposits associated with red
Dzhezkazgan and associated sandstone copper deposits of the Chu-Sarysu basin, Central KazakhstanSandstone-hosted copper (sandstone Cu) deposits occur within a 200-km reach of the northern Chu-Sarysu basin of central Kazakhstan (Dzhezkazgan and Zhaman-Aibat deposits, and the Zhilandy group of deposits). The deposits consist of Cu sulfide minerals as intergranular cement and grain replacement in 10 ore-bearing members of sandstone and conglomerate within a 600- to 1,000-m thick Pennsylvanian f