Eastern Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center
Synthesis, Analysis, and Applications of the Global Copper Assessment
This project will combine and analyze the results of the global copper assessment, apply economic
filters, provide global results in GIS, and demonstrate the results and potential applications
of the assessment to technical and non-technical audiences through a series of fact sheets and reports.
Fact sheets and a USGS Scientific Investigations Report of summary results will be organized in terms of the
National Minerals Information Center regions.
The USGS completed the work of regional copper assessments for the global mineral
resource assessment project in 2012. This included
Tools for aggregation of results (published) and economic filters
(approved) were developed.
- quantitative assessments for porphyry
copper deposits in twelve regions of the world,
- quantitative assessments for sediment-hosted
stratabound copper deposits in five regions of the world, and
- qualitative assessments for
eight other regions.
Availability of the economic filter provides an the opportunity to
consider what portion of the undiscovered resources might be economic given different
assumptions of depth distributions and mine development settings, and to evaluate the
implications for resource development.
The synthesis and analysis products outlined here will permit transfer of the results of this
lengthy research project to the public policy arena. For example, comparing the extent of
tracts with significant economically viable undiscovered resources against the mapped
extent of critical ecosystems could provide the basis for proactive land management
decisions on regional to continental scales. The considerable investment made in this and
other mineral resource assessments can only be fully realized when the results are
recognized as informing decisions in such diverse fields as land use, resource availability,
minerals exploration, and priorities for economic geology research.