Faced with an ever-increasing diversity of demand for the use of public lands, managers and planners are turning more often to a multiple-use approach to meet those demands. This approach requires the uses to be mutually compatible and to utilize the more valuable attributes or resource values of the land. Therefore, it is imperative that planners be provided with all available information on attribute and resource values in a timely fashion and in a format that facilitates a comparative evaluation. The Kootenai National Forest administration enlisted the U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Bureau of Mines to perform a quantitative assessment of future copper/silver production potential within the forest from sediment-hosted copper deposits in the Revett Formation that are similar to those being mined at the Troy Mine near Spar Lake. The U.S. Geological Survey employed a quantitative assessment technique that compared the favorable host terrane in the Kootenai area with worldwide examples of known sediment-hosted copper deposits. The assessment produced probabilistic estimates of the number of undiscovered deposits that may be present in the area and of the copper and silver endowment that might be contained in them. Results of the assessment suggest that the copper/silver deposit potential is highest in the southwestern one-third of the forest. In this area there is an estimated 50 percent probability of at least 50 additional deposits occurring mostly within approximately 260,000 acres where the Revett Formation is thought to be present in the subsurface at depths of less than 1,500 meters. A Monte Carlo type simulation using data on the grade and tonnage characteristics of other known silver-rich, sediment-hosted copper deposits predicts a 50 percent probability that these undiscovered deposits will contain at least 19 million tonnes of copper and 100,000 tonnes of silver. Combined with endowments estimated for identified, but not thoroughly explored deposits, and deposits that might also occur in the remaining area of the forest, the endowment potential increases to 23 million tonnes of copper and 190,000 tonnes of silver. ?? 1992 Oxford University Press.
Additional publication details
Quantitative assessment of future development of cooper/silver resources in the Kootenai National Forest, Idaho/Montana: Part I-Estimation of the copper and silver endowments