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Overview

Why is USGS updating their national mineral deposit database?

One of the key missions of the USGS Mineral Resources Program is the collection and dissemination of mineral resources information. This information is used by the USGS, other government agencies (State and Federal), private industry and the general public. An accurate, up-to-date mineral deposit database utilizing current geospatial technologies is needed to meet the needs of USGS research, state and federal land management agencies, private industry, and the general public.

Background

In the 1960's, the USGS and the U.S. Bureau of Mines developed national-scale mine and mineral deposit databases. After the Bureau of Mine's 1996 closure, the USGS acquired custody of their Minerals Availability System (MAS) and Minerals Industry Location System (MILS) databases. In 2000, the MAS/MILS was merged with the USGS Mineral Resource Data System (MRDS) to form a single database. Much of the data initially captured in the Mineral Resource Data System was recorded prior to the development and widespread use of modern geospatial technologies. Additionally, differing data entry procedures of both Bureau of Mines and USGS resulted in different outcomes. Due to these issues, it was decided that the mineral resources database of the U.S. needed to be modernized.

What are we doing?

Our goals are to update the national mineral deposit database with accurate and current information on mineral occurrences and mines in a format readily usable for geospatial analysis, in order to meet the needs of potential users of mineral resources information. The geospatial database will include information on geology, production, resources, history, and development status. The initial focus has been on the western states, with plans to eventually collect data for all of the U.S.

Products

Data Releases

Burger, M.H., Bellora, J.D., Fernette, G.L., and San Juan, C.A., 2018, Mines, Mineral Occurrences, and Mining Districts in the Carlin Area, Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/F7KD1X3X.

Fernette, G.L., Bellora, J.D., Bartels, M. P., Gallegos, S.M., Jordan, J.K., Tureck, K.R., and Chapman, A.L., 2016, USMIN Mineral Resource Data for the U.S. Geological Survey Sagebrush Mineral-Resource Assessment Project: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/F7J964GW.

Horton, J.D., and San Juan, C.A., 2017, Prospect- and Mine-Related Features from U.S. Geological Survey 7.5- and 15-Minute Topographic Quadrangle Maps of the United States: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/F78W3CHG.

Labay, Keith, Burger, M.H., Bellora, J.D., Schulz, K.J., DeYoung, J.H., Jr., Seal, R.R., II, Bradley, D.C., Mauk, J.L., and San Juan, C.A., 2017, Global Distribution of Selected Mines, Deposits, and Districts of Critical Minerals: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/F7GH9GQR.

Rockwell, B.W., and Bonham, L.C., 2017, Digital maps of hydrothermal alteration type, key mineral groups, and green vegetation of the western United States derived from automated analysis of ASTER satellite data: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/F7CR5RK7.

Maps

Rockwell, B.W., 2013, Comparative mineral mapping in the Colorado Mineral Belt using AVIRIS and ASTER remote sensing data: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3256, 8 p. pamphlet, 1 map sheet, scale 1:150,000, http://pubs.usgs.gov/sim/3256/.

Rockwell, B.W., 2013, Automated mapping of mineral groups and green vegetation from Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery with an example from the San Juan Mountains, Colorado: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3252, 25 p. pamphlet, 1 map sheet, scale 1:325,000, http://pubs.usgs.gov/sim/3252/.

Posters

Bellora, J., Van Gosen, B., and Long, K., 2017, USGS Mineral Deposit Database — Rare Earth Elements in the U.S.: Poster presented at the 123rd Annual Meeting of the American Exploration and Mining Association, 4-8 December 2017, Reno, NV. [PDF file, 5.5 MB]

Burger, M., Bellora, J., Fernette, G., Mauk, J., and San Juan, C., 2017, USGS Mineral Deposit Database — Carlin Area, Nevada: Poster presented at the 123rd Annual Meeting of the American Exploration and Mining Association, 4-8 December 2017, Reno, NV. [PDF file, 5.1 MB]

Burger, M., Bellora, J., Mauk, J., and San Juan, C., 2017, USGS Mineral Deposit Database — Strategic and Critical Elements and Minerals: Poster presented at the 123rd Annual Meeting of the American Exploration and Mining Association, 4-8 December 2017, Reno, NV. [PDF file, 1.8 MB]

Horton, J., Carroll, T., Brantley, M., and Schmeda, G., 2017, USGS Mineral Deposit Database — Mine Symbols from USGS Topographic Maps: Poster presented at the 123rd Annual Meeting of the American Exploration and Mining Association, 4-8 December 2017, Reno, NV. [PDF file, 6.3 MB]

Project Contacts

Jeffrey Mauk
Phone: 303-236-5605
Email: jmauk@usgs.gov
Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry Science Center

Carma San Juan
Phone: 303-236-2450
Email: csanjuan@usgs.gov
Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry Science Center

Peter Schweitzer
Phone: 703-648-6533
Email: pschweitzer@usgs.gov
Eastern Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center

Mineral Resources Program Science Priority

The use of firm, trade, and brand names is for identification purposes only and does not constitute endorsement by the U.S. government.

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