Geospatial analysis identifies critical mineral-resource potential in Alaska

Fact Sheet 2017-3012
By:  and 
Edited by: Katherine Jacques and Claire Landowski



Alaska consists of more than 663,000 square miles (1,717,000 square kilometers) of land—more than a sixth of the total area of the United States—and large tracts of it have not been systematically studied or sampled for mineral-resource potential. Many regions of the State are known to have significant mineral-resource potential, and there are currently six operating mines in the State along with numerous active mineral exploration projects. The U.S. Geological Survey and the Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys have developed a new geospatial tool that integrates and analyzes publicly available databases of geologic information and estimates the mineral-resource potential for critical minerals, which was recently used to evaluate Alaska. The results of the analyses highlight areas that have known mineral deposits and also reveal areas that were not previously considered to be prospective for these deposit types. These results will inform land management decisions by Federal, State, and private landholders, and will also help guide future exploration activities and scientific investigations in Alaska.

Suggested Citation

Karl, S.M., and Labay, K.A., Geospatial analysis identifies critical mineral-resource potential in Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2017–3012, 4 p.,

ISSN: 2327-6932 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • What are Critical Minerals?
  • Examples of Uses of Critical Minerals
  • How is Mineral-Resource Potential Evaluated by this Method?
  • What is the Critical Mineral-Resource Potential of Alaska?
  • The Road Ahead
  • Read the Full Report
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Geospatial analysis identifies critical mineral-resource potential in Alaska
Series title Fact Sheet
Series number 2017-3012
DOI 10.3133/fs20173012
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center Geology Minerals
Description 4 p.
Country United States
State Alaska
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Additional publication details