Potential mineral resources, Payette National Forest, Idaho: Description and probabilistic estimation

Open-File Report 98-219-A
Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service
By: , and 



The Payette National Forest (PNF), in west-central Idaho, is geologically diverse and contains a wide variety of mineral resources. Mineral deposit types are grouped into locatable, leasable, and salable categories. The PNF has substantial past production and identified resources of locatable commodities, including gold, silver, copper, zinc, tungsten, antimony, mercury, and opal. Minor lignitic coal is the only leasable mineral resource known to be present in the PNF. Resources of salable commodities in the PNF include sand-and-gravel, basalt for crushed-rock aggregate, and minor gypsum.

Locatable mineral resources are geographically divided between eastern and western parts of the PNF. The western PNF lies west of the Riggins-to-Cascade highway (US 95 - Idaho 55), and the eastern PNF is east of that highway. The western and eastern parts of the PNF are geologically distinctive and have different types of locatable mineral deposits, so their locatable mineral resources are described separately. Within the western and eastern parts of the PNF, locatable deposit types generally are described in order of decreasing geologic age.

An expert panel delineated tracts considered geologically permissive and (or) favorable for the occurrence of undiscovered mineral deposits of types that are known to be present within or near the PNF. The panel also estimated probabilities for undiscovered deposits, and used numerical simulation, based on tonnage-grade distribution models, to derive estimates of in-situ metals contained. These estimates are summarized in terms of mean and median measures of central tendency. Most grade and tonnage distributions appear to be log-normal, with the median lower than the mean. Inasmuch as the mean is influenced by the largest deposits in the model tonnage-grade distribution, the median provides a lower measure of central tendency and a more conservative estimation of undiscovered resources.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Potential mineral resources, Payette National Forest, Idaho: Description and probabilistic estimation
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 98-219
Chapter A
DOI 10.3133/ofr98219A
Year Published 1998
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s) Central Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center, Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center
Description Report: 180 p.; Readme; 2 Metadata files; Complete digital package; Dataset; Additional dataset; Additional files; 2 Map files
Country United States
State Idaho
Other Geospatial Payette National Forest
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details