Data Series 1004
Defense Minerals Exploration Administration (DMEA)
The Defense Minerals Exploration Administration (DMEA) program was established within the Department of the Interior, effective November 20, 1951, by the Secretary of the Interior when the previously established Defense Minerals Administration (DMA) program was terminated. DMA had been concerned with aspects of the minerals industry other than mineral exploration. These other aspects included serving as a claimant agency for materials and facilities, as an advisory agency responsible for a minerals supply expansion program, and as an allocation program for metals and mineral concentrates in short supply. The various aspects, other than mineral exploration, were transferred to the Defense Materials Procurement Agency (DMPA), of the General Services Administration, on November 20, 1951. DMEA was established as a means of continuing the mineral exploration program started under DMA.
The DMEA program was confined to exploration for critical and strategic minerals and was administrated by the same personnel who had formerly administered the DMA program. It operated from the same national headquarters office site. DMEA program officials were responsible for processing all exploration applications received under the previous DMA program and for administrative work involved in completion of exploration contracts started under the DMA program. Some applications for exploration assistance, submitted under the DMA program, subsequently were executed as DMEA contracts. DMEA officials also issued Certificates of Possible Production to DMEA contract operators, if, in the opinion of government officials, mine production was likely to result from a successful exploration project. In rare instances, DMEA officials issued a royalty obligation that was similar to a Certificate of Possible Production but which concerned a property at which no significant discovery had been made. A typical instance for such an obligation was where exploration work gave good indications of a possible mineral discovery, which would benefit the obligated property, but where the scheduled exploration was terminated by the contract operator short of completion of work specified in the contract. The DMEA program used the same U.S. Geological Survey-U.S. Bureau of Mines (USGS-USBM) field team arrangement and operated more or less under the same regulations, practices, and procedures established by DMA. It was a much more extensive program than was the DMA program and continued until 1958, when federally supported mineral exploration under the Defense Production Act of 1950 was no longer considered justifiable and the DMEA program was terminated.