Australia, Canada and US unify critical minerals data

The US Geological Survey (USGS) has released a compilation of national-scale geological, geophysical and mineral useful resource datasets from Australia, Canada and the US by way of a collaboration between the three international locations’ federal geological surveys.

The info launch consists of greater than 40 earth science knowledge layers, together with a brand new map of variations within the Earth’s pure magnetic area for the whole thing of Canada and the US that scientists can use to develop three-dimensional representations of geology underground. The info layers are in broadly accepted geographic data system codecs.

North America

Varied unified geophysical datasets of the US and Canada from the Essential Minerals Mapping Initiative. Sources/Utilization: Public Area.

The info launch was ready by the Geological Survey of Canada, Geoscience Australia and the USGS as a part of the Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative (CMMI). The CMMI combines the three geological surveys’ experience to develop a greater understanding of recognized important mineral sources, decide geologic controls on the distribution of deposits from which important minerals are presently being produced, establish new sources of provide by way of important mineral potential mapping and quantitative mineral assessments, and promote important mineral analysis in all three international locations.


Unified geophysical datasets for Australia as a part of the Essential Minerals Mapping Initiative. Sources/Utilization: Public Area.

These knowledge may also be helpful to tell assessments of the three nations’ pure hazards, corresponding to earthquakes and landslides, and different pure sources corresponding to geothermal vitality and groundwater. The info are seamless throughout the US and Canada and might simply be in contrast with knowledge from Australia.

As well as, the information layers can be utilized for synthetic intelligence analytical methods, corresponding to machine studying. For instance, a CMMI group led by the Geological Survey of Canada has already used the information layers to map the potential in Australia, Canada and the US for sure kinds of zinc deposits which, along with zinc, are additionally recognized to include different important minerals corresponding to germanium and gallium. The worldwide group of scientists is now extending their efforts to mannequin potential for different important mineral methods.


A map of lead-zinc deposits created from the unified Essential Minerals Mapping Initiative geophysics datasets utilizing machine-learning methods.Sources/Utilization: Public Area.

This knowledge launch, and CMMI extra usually, are a part of a broad effort between Australia, Canada and the US to collaborate on diversifying provide strains for important mineral sources, safe commerce of these sources, and guarantee availability of the sources for every nation’s financial system and safety. The trouble consists of agreements that set up efficient coordination between the three international locations in addition to scientific partnerships to offer a data-driven basis.

The info layers could be accessed here. Extra details about the CMMI could be accessed here.


  • McCafferty, A.E., San Juan, C.A., Lawley, C.J.M., Graham, G.E., Gadd, M.G., Huston, D.L., Kelley, Ok.D., Paradis, S., Peter, J.M., and Czarnota, Ok., (2023) “Nationwide-scale geophysical, geologic, and mineral useful resource knowledge and grids for the US, Canada, and Australia: Information in help of the tri-national Essential Minerals Mapping Initiative”: US Geological Survey knowledge launch, doi: 10.5066/P970GDD5

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