Guidelines for international data collection and resource assessments and analyses

  • Allen L. Clark


The ever-increasing world interdependency required to provide the basic energy and mineral commodities needed by society, has created a need to assess, on a common basis, the location, number, and quality of deposits of natural resources. In order to evaluate and compare the resource potential of any area, two major factors must be considered: (1) the type of commodity being evaluated and (2) the specific parameter (reserves or resources) which is being defined. Each commodity or parameter being studied requires a separate methodology for analysis and different basic data. Porphyry copper deposits must be treated differently from stratabound copper deposits or massive sulfide deposits of copper. Similarly, oil and gas deposits associated with stratigraphic traps must be treated differently from those associated with salt domes. Resource assessments attempt to estimate the aggregate resource potential of an area whereas resource analyses attempt to define the specific characteristics of the individual occurrences which comprise the aggregate resource potential. Assessment programs may range from a national inventory of known deposits and occurrences to detailed studies which require an extensive integration of geological, geochemical, and geophysical data. Examples of national inventories are the small mine inventory of Bolivia and presently operating resource programs in Turkey and Argentina. Detailed programs of assessment include the AMRAP (Alaska Mineral Resource Appraisal Program) program and studies in the Coeur d'Alene district and Ely, Nevada. Worldwide resource analysis is a rapidly expanding field of endeavor necessitated by the need to more clearly define the characteristics of known deposits and to provide quantitative estimates of hypothetical and speculative resources. Studies presently underway deal with the development of search and occurrence models, field size distributions of energy resources, tonnage and grade relationships of mineral deposits, the zone of influence of exploratory drill holes, and models of the exploration process.

Key words

resource analysis data systems data files 


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  1. Brobst, D. A., and Pratt, W. P. eds., 1973, United States mineral resources: U. S. Geol. Surv. Prof. Paper 820, 722 p.Google Scholar
  2. U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Bureau of Mines, 1976, Principles of the Mineral Resource Classification System of the U.S. Bureau of Mines and U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Geol. Bull. 1450-A, p. A1-A5.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corp. 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allen L. Clark
    • 1
  1. 1.United States Geological SurveyReston

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