Metals

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Metals are found in many different places around the world. Many natural Earth processes affect their distribution and abundance. Metals are essential to our economy and lifestyle, and the global demand for metals continues to rise.

Basics

A copper sample. (Oxidation coating has been removed). Image Credit: USGS

Metals occur in many different geologic settings around the world. If enough metal is concentrated in one place to be of economic value, it is called an ore deposit. Well-known metals include copper, iron, gold, aluminum, manganese, and platinum, but nearly all of the sixty or so metals in the periodic table have practical uses. Geoscientists know that different types of ore deposits occur in areas where particular types of geologic processes have taken place.   Read more

Frequently Asked Questions

American Geosciences Institute
U.S. Geological Survey
American Geosciences Institute
American Geosciences Institute

Case Studies & Factsheets

Screenshot of the USEITI case studies showing the Greenlee County case study highlighted

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Natural Resources Revenue, Information and Data Management has produced a series of case studies on extractive industries across the United States, focusing on coal, copper, gold, iron, natural gas, and oil.

Screenshot of the USEITI case studies showing the Pima County case study highlighted

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Natural Resources Revenue, Information and Data Management has produced a series of case studies on extractive industries across the United States, focusing on coal, copper, gold, iron, natural gas, and oil.

Screenshot of the USEITI case studies showing the Marquette County case study highlighted

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Natural Resources Revenue, Information and Data Management has produced a series of case studies on extractive industries across the United States, focusing on coal, copper, gold, iron, natural gas, and oil.

Screenshot of the USEITI case studies showing the Elko and Eureka counties case study highlighted

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Natural Resources Revenue, Information and Data Management has produced a series of case studies on extractive industries across the United States, focusing on coal, copper, gold, iron, natural gas, and oil.

Screenshot of the USEITI case studies showing the Humboldt and Lander counties case study highlighted

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Natural Resources Revenue, Information and Data Management has produced a series of case studies on extractive industries across the United States, focusing on coal, copper, gold, iron, natural gas, and oil.

Screenshot of the USEITI case studies showing the St. Louis County case study highlighted

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Natural Resources Revenue, Information and Data Management has produced a series of case studies on extractive industries across the United States, focusing on coal, copper, gold, iron, natural gas, and oil.

Fig. 1. Gold, 3.3 cm high, Round Mountain Mine, Nye County, Nevada. L. McMaster collection. Credit: J. Scovil

Geologic maps have provided the key to finding new gold deposits in Nevada. Defining the Problem The western states contain many gold deposits (Fig. 1), and a zone of faulted sedimentary and igneous rocks in northeastern Nevada, known as the “Carlin” trend, is the most productive region in the...

GOLI Online Courses

GOLI Course: Best Practices in Mineral Resource Estimation & Reporting. Image courtesy of Abani Samal
Course Type: GOLI Online Course

Construction of a computerized model to estimate mineral resources is a common practice in mineral exploration projects and mining operations. Many times a technical report is done as per international reporting standards such as NI-43-101 or JORC to meet the requirement of certain stock...

GOLI Course: Tracking the Supply of Critical Materials; Image courtesy of Nedal Nassar.
Course Type: GOLI Online Course

No country in the world produces all of the mineral resources necessary for modern society. International trade plays a critical role in providing these raw materials, forming a global network of production, export, import, and use. This network must continuously adapt to national and...

Geological Surveys Database Publications

1920, Arizona Geological Survey

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1939, Pennsylvania Geological Survey

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1926, Arizona Geological Survey
This pamphlet has been compiled as a text to be used in the Arizona Bureau of Mines extension lectures on "Prospector's Mineralogy." Many of the people attending these lectures, especially those most interested, have had very little, if any, technical training in mineralogy,...
1936, Arizona Geological Survey
Requests for information about the metal production of Arizona are continually being received by the Arizona Bureau of Mines. It is in answer to this insistent demand that the data contained in this bulletin have been compiled. The assembled data and information are as comprehensive as it is...
1942, Arizona Geological Survey
This pamphlet has been compiled as a text to be used in the Arizona Bureau of Mines' extension lectures on "Field Tests for Metals." Many of the people attending these programs, especially those most interested, have had very little, if any, technical training in mineralogy,...
1948, Arizona Geological Survey
This pamphlet has been compiled as a text to be used in the Arizona Bureau of Mines' extension lectures on "Field Tests for Metals." Many of the people attending these programs, especially those most interested, have had very little, if any, technical training in mineralogy,...
2013, United States Geological Survey

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2009, United States Geological Survey
Copper was one of the first metals ever extracted and used by humans, and it has made vital contributions to sustaining and improving society since the dawn of civilization. Copper was first used in coins and ornaments starting about 8000 B.C., and at about 5500 B.C., copper tools helped...
1918, California Geological Survey

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2005, United States Geological Survey

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