News August 7, 2018

WSGS Develops Online Mines and Minerals Map

by Jackson Hole. Media

 

The Wyoming State Geological Survey (WSGS) has launched an online interactive map that will aid in researching and understanding the state’s mines and mineral resources. The Mines and Minerals Map of Wyoming is free to access, and like other WSGS interactive publications, will be updated routinely as new information becomes available.

“The Mines and Minerals Map of Wyoming will be useful to industry, landowners, researchers, and rock and mineral enthusiasts seeking information on mineral resources across the state,” says WSGS Director, Dr. Erin Campbell.

WSGS publications and other sources were used to amass data for more than 3,000 sites currently depicted on the map. That number will continue to climb as information is added continuously. Sites depicted on the map vary from historical and contemporary mines to prospects and sample locations. Data includes coal, aggregates, uranium, metals, and other minerals, specifically addressing analyses for the 35 mineral commodities deemed critical to U.S. economic and national security.

“Data compilation for individual mines is time consuming, but detailed, accurate information results in a very usable product,” says WSGS geologist Wayne Sutherland. “Compiling these data are the necessary first steps to understanding the spatial distribution of Wyoming’s mineral—especially critical mineral—resources.”

Information depicted on the map includes mine locations, geology, historical information, mineralogy, and chemical analyses. Additionally, the map offers geologic interpretations based on a variety of sources, including the U.S. Geological Survey, WSGS, and Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, among others. “The geologic interpretations give perspective on mineral commodity host rocks and geologic environment,” says Sutherland.

It is important to note not all commodities are complete on the map. Check the “Commodity Status” layer for progress.

To begin using the map, read the flash screen for useful tips. Users can apply dozens of layers to the map, such as commodity status, industrial minerals, coal energy metals, metals, critical and strategic minerals, as well as gemstones and lapidary. The query tool allows a user to search by commodity, county, elemental analysis, whole rock analysis, and mineral.

Definitions are provided as is a color-coded legend for various types of sites (drill hole, pit, quarry, etc.) of each mineral.

“The Mines and Minerals Map of Wyoming marks our fourth online interactive map. These maps make Wyoming geologic data easily available to the public, as well as spatially referenced,” says Campbell.

The WSGS developed the Oil and Gas Map of Wyoming in 2016 followed by a Geochronology Map of Wyoming and a Groundwater Atlas of Wyoming in 2017. All WSGS online maps are free to access.

The WSGS welcomes comments and suggestions on how to make the Mines and Minerals Map of Wyoming an even more useful tool going forward. Questions and comments about the map’s functionality can be directed to Jim Stafford (james.stafford@wyo.gov). Inquiries about the map’s data can be directed to Wayne Sutherland (wayne.sutherland@wyo.gov).

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