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U.S. Geological Survey
Circular 1289

USGS Mineral Resources Program—Supporting Stewardship of America’s Natural Resources

By S.J. Kropschot

With a section on Evolution of Mineral Resource Assessments
By Kathleen M. Johnson


thumbnail of front cover showing exploration, lab work, and mining

Forward by P. Patrick Leahy, Acting Director

This volume celebrates more than 125 years of leadership in the science of mineral resources. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) was charged in the Organic Act of 1879 with “classification of the public lands, and examination of the geological structure, mineral resources, and products of the national domain.” The mission of the USGS has evolved to meet the changing needs of society and to take advantage of advances in science and technology. The current Mineral Resources Program serves the Nation by supporting a wide range of mineral-resource research studies and information collection, analysis, and dissemination activities. The Program has built on the successes of the past and continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of the Nation. Methodologies, techniques, and information developed to conduct mineral resource assessments on Federal lands have made the USGS a leader in collecting and delivering information used to make land-use decisions, to understand issues related to public health, and to ensure a secure and strong economy for the Nation.


The USGS Mineral Resources Program continues a tradition of Federal leadership in the science of mineral resources that extends back before the beginning of the bureau. The need for information on metallic mineral resources helped lead to the creation of the USGS in 1879. In response to the need to assess large areas of Federal lands in the 20th century, Program scientists developed, tested, and refined tools to support managers making land-use decisions on Federal lands. The refinement of the tools and techniques that have established the USGS as a leader in the world in our ability to conduct mineral resource assessments extends into the 21st century.

Download Circular 1289 as a 43-page PDF file (c1289.pdf; 10.3 MB)

For questions about the content of this report, contact Sue Kropschot.

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Maintained by: Michael Diggles
Created: August 4, 2006
Last modified: August 8, 2006 (mfd)