Interior Dept earmarks $75m for critical minerals mapping

24th June 2022

By: Creamer Media Reporter


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The Department of the Interior has announced $74.6-million will be distributed in 30 states to invest in geoscience data collection, mapping, data preservation, and scientific interpretation of areas with potential for critical minerals, under the US Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Mapping Resources Initiative, or Earth MRI.

These investments will help improve the understanding of domestic critical mineral resources. 

Funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will account for $64-million in this effort. This is part of the broader $510.7-million investment in USGS from the law to support scientific innovation.

“President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law makes historic investments to support scientific research, data mapping and preservation,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.

“In order to make data-driven decisions based on the best available science, we need to equip our premier science agencies with the resources they need. The funding we are announcing today and the partnerships it will foster will help us research and preserve vital scientific data.”

Under Earth MRI, USGS has partnered with the Association of American State Geologists and state geological surveys to jointly fund and conduct new geologic mapping and geochemical reconnaissance sampling and preserve existing geologic data and samples. 

“These historic investments will modernise our mapping of the United States,” said USGS associate director for energy and mineral resources Sarah Ryker.

“The USGS and the state geological surveys collaborated to prioritise areas where new geoscience data will yield new understanding of the potential for sustainable mineral production and mine waste reprocessing and remediation, along with geothermal resources, groundwater and earthquake hazards.”

“Merging federal resources with local knowledge of the state surveys creates an efficient and thorough venue to quickly further national understanding of the distribution of our resources,” said Association of American State Geologists president Erin Campbell.

The focus of the current financial year’s funding includes improving the nation’s mapping of shallow and deep geology. This will lead to better scientific understanding of critical mineral resources – including minerals still in the ground and those found in mine waste materials.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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