USGS News: Minerals

USGS News: Minerals News about minerals from the USGS. Click for more details.
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This Page delivers the latest news from the USGS that are related to minerals. This includes news releases and another USGS product called Science Features. This Page is provided so that you can receive USGS news for this topic through Facebook if you choose to rather than forcing you to go to our site. If you're already using Facebook regularly then we're just making it that much easier for you. Note: Comments are turned off at this time. You can also find this news topic on Google+, and Twitter.

Please note: On, or about, March 14th this account will be deactivated. We encourage you to follow the main U.S. Geologi...
03/07/2019
Social Media

Please note: On, or about, March 14th this account will be deactivated. We encourage you to follow the main U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), our other USGS accounts at (https://usgs.gov/socialmedia), or the USGS News: Everything We've Got (for only USGS news related updates). Thank you

The USGS has several social media presences. The sites listed below are those that are considered official USGS presences. Any site found that is not listed is considered a non-USGS presence. 

Keeping the Oil and Gas Flowing-How frac sands prop up the recent American petroleum renaissance
11/09/2018
Keeping the Oil and Gas Flowing-How frac sands prop up the recent American petroleum renaissance

Keeping the Oil and Gas Flowing-How frac sands prop up the recent American petroleum renaissance

It’s no exaggeration to say the last decade or so has seen a renaissance in oil and gas production in the United States, largely fueled by a process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. More oil and gas resources are unlocked every year now, and the United States ranks among the top three p...

10/22/2018
U.S. Geological Survey and Colorado School of Mines announce long-term partnership

U.S. Geological Survey and Colorado School of Mines announce long-term partnership

DENVER – Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke joined Paul C. Johnson, president of Colorado School of Mines, to announce a long-term partnership between the university and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The partnership will bring more than 150 USGS scientists and their minerals res...

Scientists Discover New Clues to Mount St. Helens Unusual Location
09/03/2018
Scientists Discover New Clues to Mount St. Helens Unusual Location

Scientists Discover New Clues to Mount St. Helens Unusual Location

U.S. Geological Survey scientists Paul Bedrosian and Jared Peacock, along with colleagues from Oregon State University and the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, used magnetotellurics, an electromagnetic geophysical technique, to create a three-dimensional image of the crust beneath southwest Wa...

05/18/2018
Interior Releases 2018’s Final List of 35 Minerals Deemed Critical to U.S. National Security and the Economy

Interior Releases 2018’s Final List of 35 Minerals Deemed Critical to U.S. National Security and the Economy

At the direction of Secretary Zinke, on February 16, 2018, Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey published a draft list of 35 critical minerals under Executive Order 13817. A report summarizing the methodology for compiling the list and background information can be found here.

USGS Scientists Develop New Tool to Determine if Vermiculite Insulation Contains Asbestos
04/05/2018
USGS Scientists Develop New Tool to Determine if Vermiculite Insulation Contains Asbestos

USGS Scientists Develop New Tool to Determine if Vermiculite Insulation Contains Asbestos

Approximately one million homes in the United States contain vermiculite attic insulation. One of the major past sources of this vermiculite was commercially produced vermiculite insulation from Libby, Montana, containing trace levels of asbestiform amphibole, which is known to cause asbestos-relate...

04/04/2018
USGS Seeks Earthquake Hazards Research Proposals

USGS Seeks Earthquake Hazards Research Proposals

The U.S. Geological Survey is currently soliciting project proposals for Fiscal Year 2019 grants on earthquake hazards science with an authorization to award up to $7 million. Interested researchers can apply online at GRANTS.GOV under funding opportunity number G18AS00021. Applications are due May....

03/01/2018
Media Advisory: Low-Flying Airplane to Study Geology of the Central Upper Peninsula, Michigan

Media Advisory: Low-Flying Airplane to Study Geology of the Central Upper Peninsula, Michigan

U.S. Geological Survey scientists will conduct a high-resolution airborne survey to study the geology under a region of the central Upper Peninsula, Michigan, until as late as July, 2018. The data will help USGS researchers improve their understanding of geology, including buried rock types and faul...

U.S. Mines Produced an Estimated $75.2 Billion in Minerals During 2017
01/31/2018
U.S. Mines Produced an Estimated $75.2 Billion in Minerals During 2017

U.S. Mines Produced an Estimated $75.2 Billion in Minerals During 2017

The report from the USGS National Minerals Information Center is the earliest comprehensive source of 2017 mineral production data for the world. It includes statistics on more than 90 mineral commodities that are important to the U.S. economy and national security. It also identifies events, trends...

11/14/2017
USGS Estimates 40 Million Pounds of Potential Uranium Resources in Parts of Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma

USGS Estimates 40 Million Pounds of Potential Uranium Resources in Parts of Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates a mean of 40 million pounds of in-place uranium oxide remaining as potential undiscovered resources in the Southern High Plains region of Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.

The uranium occurs in a type of rock formation called “calcrete,” which has been…

10/11/2017
EarthWord–Discovery

EarthWord–Discovery

EarthWords is an on-going series in which we shed some light on the complicated, often difficult-to-pronounce language of science. Think of us as your terminology tour-guides, and meet us back here every week for a new word! Scientists aboard the D/S Chikyu prepare to collect a research core…

09/29/2017
New Uranium Mineral Named for USGS Scientist

New Uranium Mineral Named for USGS Scientist

USGS field and laboratory studies led to just such a discovery, approved and announced by the International Mineralogical Association – Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification with the naming of a newly discovered mineral, “finchite.” Finchite is a greenish-yellow uranium…

09/25/2017
Helicopter Study to Map Beneath Mountain Watershed Near Crested Butte

Helicopter Study to Map Beneath Mountain Watershed Near Crested Butte

Residents in and around Crested Butte, Colorado, may see a safe, low-flying helicopter towing a hula-hoop-shaped object beginning in early October and lasting for approximately two weeks.



The airborne device, contracted by the U.S. Geological Survey through Geotech, will be collecting…

08/21/2017
Stitching Together the New Digital Geologic Quilt of the United States

Stitching Together the New Digital Geologic Quilt of the United States

Fortunately, in an effort with needlepoint detail, the U.S. Geological Survey has stitched together geologic maps of the Lower 48 States, providing a seamless quilt of 48 State geologic maps that range from 1:50,000 to 1:1,000,000 scale.

The new product, called the USGS State Geologic Map…

08/11/2017
MEDIA ADVISORY: Upcoming Low-Level Flights in Oklahoma to Image Unmapped Faults and Underground Geology

MEDIA ADVISORY: Upcoming Low-Level Flights in Oklahoma to Image Unmapped Faults and Underground Geology

Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey and Oklahoma Geological Survey are teaming up to better understand the location of deep faults and subsurface geology via airborne technology.



USGS and OGS are contracting Goldak Airborne Surveys to conduct surveys that will fly over 18 counties in…

08/03/2017
USGS Assesses Billions of Potential Potash Resources in Ukraine

USGS Assesses Billions of Potential Potash Resources in Ukraine

The term “potash” refers to potassium-bearing, water-soluble salts like potassium chloride derived from evaporite basins, where seawater evaporated and precipitated various salt compounds. In 2010, world potash production was about 33 million metric tons, mostly for use in fertilizers.

Potash…

07/18/2017
Rich, Attractive, and Extremely Shallow

Rich, Attractive, and Extremely Shallow

So how do you find a potential mineral deposit when it’s buried underground?

Perhaps it's a geo-physical attraction...

Just as someone's personality characteristics might be attractive, certain geophysical characteristics are appealing to scientists searching for potential mineral deposits.…

06/30/2017
Slag-What is it Good for?

Slag-What is it Good for?

But some recent research here at USGS might change slag’s poor public image. It turns out that, although slag is most known for being what’s left when metals have been removed, slag itself might be good at removing some negative chemicals from the environment. Pile of steelmaking slag at the…

06/09/2017
Bringing Science to Bear at the Cinnabar Mine

Bringing Science to Bear at the Cinnabar Mine

Download this videoLength: 210JoAnn Holloway, biogeochemist with the USGS Mineral Resources Program, explains how interdisciplinary science can help better inform the conditions of a complex ecosystem. Videographer: Jacob Massey, USGS (Public domain.)

Mining activity in the 19th to 20th century…

05/31/2017
President Proposes $922 Million FY18 Budget for USGS

President Proposes $922 Million FY18 Budget for USGS

Annual Federal Appropriations Process — Here you will find documents such as Budget Justifications (Greenbook), press releases, funding tables, fact sheets, and more, organized by fiscal year. Read the full details.

05/24/2017
Keeping the Oil and Gas Flowing-How frac sands prop up the recent American petroleum renaissance

Keeping the Oil and Gas Flowing-How frac sands prop up the recent American petroleum renaissance

It’s no exaggeration to say the last decade or so has seen a renaissance in oil and gas production in the United States, largely fueled by a process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. More oil and gas resources are unlocked every year now, and the United States ranks among the top three…

05/23/2017
President Proposes $922 Million FY18 Budget for USGS

President Proposes $922 Million FY18 Budget for USGS

President Donald Trump today proposed a $922.2 million Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget for the U.S. Geological Survey. This highlights the Administration’s commitment to increasing efficiency across the federal government and science supporting national objectives and priorities. The President’s…

05/11/2017
Magmas to Metals

Magmas to Metals

Here at USGS, one way we’re studying how molten earth cools into mineable ores is by looking at something called melt inclusions. Although it may sound like a particularly fancy hot sandwich, melt inclusions are actually tiny pockets of magma that get trapped in the crystals of growing igneous…

05/04/2017
Plumbing the Depths of the Great Basin

Plumbing the Depths of the Great Basin

Today, USGS Mineral Resources Program scientists are continuing that tradition, marrying the latest and greatest of assessment technology with a deep bedrock of geologic understanding and research. Here’s how: Magnetic potential terrane map of the Great Basin.(Public domain.)

Up in the Air to…

04/30/2017
Bon Anniversaire, Louisiane!

Bon Anniversaire, Louisiane!

A geologic map of the birthday state!
(Public domain.)

On this day, in 1812, Louisiana entered the Union as the first new state from the Louisiana Purchase. To honor the Bayou state’s birthday, we thought we’d highlight Louisiana’s nonfuel mineral contributions.

Louisiana ranks 34th in nonfuel…

04/28/2017
Happy 229th Birthday, Maryland!

Happy 229th Birthday, Maryland!

A geologic map of the birthday state!
(Public domain.)

On this day, in 1788, Maryland entered the Union as one of the 13 original states. To honor Maryland’s birthday, we thought we’d highlight Maryland’s mineral contributions.

Maryland ranks 35th in mineral production value in the 50 United…

04/24/2017
EarthWord–Placer

EarthWord–Placer

EarthWords is an on-going series in which we shed some light on the complicated, often difficult-to-pronounce language of science. Think of us as your terminology tour-guides, and meet us back here every week for a new word! Gold Pans and Placer Gold - image by California Geological Survey.

The…

04/20/2017
USGS Spectral Library gets Ultra- and Hyper- Revamp

USGS Spectral Library gets Ultra- and Hyper- Revamp

This shows the spectral signature (left) of the mineral topaz (right).
(Public domain.)

What do rare earth elements, Deepwater Horizon oil spill residue, artisanal paint powders, and coastal vegetation have in common? They’re all part of the newly updated and enhanced USGS Spectral Library.…

04/19/2017
EarthWord–Ferrous

EarthWord–Ferrous

EarthWords is an on-going series in which we shed some light on the complicated, often difficult-to-pronounce language of science. Think of us as your terminology tour-guides, and meet us back here every week for a new word! A piece of limonite, an ore of iron. Credit: Alex Demas, USGS.
(Public…

04/17/2017
Mineral Discovery Could Mean Billions for Michigan

Mineral Discovery Could Mean Billions for Michigan

Potash is produced in only 13 countries, making it one of the most tightly controlled commodities in the world.

The deposit is estimated to be worth $65 billion, which could make it a major source of revenue for the State of Michigan.
“If we didn’t have the data preservation program, no one…

04/14/2017
The Top 5 Mineral-Producing States

The Top 5 Mineral-Producing States

The value of the nonfuel mineral industry in each of the 50 states for 2016. (Public domain.)

Every year, the USGS National Minerals Information Center releases its Mineral Commodity Summaries, a resource roundup of 90 different mineral commodities that includes a snapshot of the global industry,…

Up in the Air to Look Deep Underground
04/13/2017
Up in the Air to Look Deep Underground

Up in the Air to Look Deep Underground

Image of the VTEM Plus AEM system from Geotech Ltd. in flight. A similar system will be flown during the upcoming USGS AEM study.
(Public domain.)

Yes, 10,000 feet in the air might not be where you’d expect to find underground mineral research being done, but believe it or not, this is an…

04/12/2017
Risk and Reliance: The U.S. Economy and Mineral Resources

Risk and Reliance: The U.S. Economy and Mineral Resources

It’s 1954. Elvis Presley has released his first single; Ellis Island has closed; the first nuclear powered-submarine, the USS Nautilus, has launched; the first transistor radio has debuted; and the United States is fully reliant on foreign sources for only 8 mineral commodities.

Now, in 2016, the…

04/11/2017
EarthWord–Hyperspectral

EarthWord–Hyperspectral

EarthWords is an on-going series in which we shed some light on the complicated, often difficult-to-pronounce language of science. Think of us as your terminology tour-guides, and meet us back here every week for a new word! Preliminary map of selected minerals for a portion of the Nabesna area of…

04/10/2017
Cutting-Edge Tools to Explore Alaska’s Mineral Potential

Cutting-Edge Tools to Explore Alaska’s Mineral Potential

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Alaska oversees Federal lands and resolves competing interests to ensure the health, diversity, and productivity of this acreage for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. To help with this gargantuan task, the BLM creates and follows…

04/07/2017
The Top 5 U.S. Minerals by Production Value

The Top 5 U.S. Minerals by Production Value

Every year, the USGS National Minerals Information Center releases its Mineral Commodity Summaries, a resource roundup of 90 different mineral commodities that includes a snapshot of the global industry, worldwide reserves and production, and information on how these minerals are used.

Also…

04/06/2017
How an Electron Microprobe Helps Find Minerals (and Makes Pretty Pictures!)

How an Electron Microprobe Helps Find Minerals (and Makes Pretty Pictures!)

Image shows a scan of a grain of pyrite rimmed with stibnite, with varying levels of arsenic shown in a color gradient. Image produced by Erin Marsh, USGS.(Public domain.)

The image above may look like one of those brilliant NASA portraits of a far-away nebula, but it’s actually the opposite in…

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