The world's use of nonfuel mineral resources continues to increase to support a growing population and increasing standards of living. The ability to meet this increasing demand is affected especially by concerns about possible environmental degradation associated with minerals production and by competing land uses. What information does the world need to support global minerals development in a sustainable way?
Informed planning and decisions concerning sustainability and future mineral resource supply require a long-term perspective and an integrated approach to resource, land use, economic, and environmental management worldwide. Such perspective and approach require unbiased information on the global distribution of identified and especially undiscovered resources, the economic and political factors influencing their development, and the potential environmental consequences of their exploitation.
The U.S. Geological Survey and the former Deposit Modeling Program of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) sponsored a workshop on 'Deposit Modeling, Mineral Resource Assessment, and Their Role in Sustainable Development' at the 31st International Geological Congress (IGC) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 18-19, 2000. The purpose of the workshop was to review the state-of-the-art in mineral deposit modeling and resource assessment and to examine the role of global assessments of nonfuel mineral resources in sustainable development.
The workshop addressed questions such as the following: Which of the available mineral deposit models and assessment methods are best suited for predicting the locations, deposit types, and amounts of undiscovered nonfuel mineral resources remaining in the world? What is the availability of global geologic, mineral deposit, and mineral exploration information? How can mineral resource assessments be used to address economic and environmental issues? Presentations included overviews of assessment methods applied in previous national and other small-scale assessments of large regions and of the resulting assessment products and their uses.
Twenty-seven people from Canada, China, Finland, Germany, Japan, Peru, Slovenia, South Africa, United States, and Venezuela participated in the 2-day post-Congress workshop. The attendees represented academia, government, environmental organizations, and the mining industry.
The workshop agenda, extended abstracts, and participant biographies were published previously in the following report:
Briskey, J.A., and Schulz, K.J, eds., 2002, Agenda, extended abstracts, and bibliographies for a Workshop on Deposit Modeling, Mineral Resource Assessment, and Their Role in Sustainable Development - 31st International Geological Congress [Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 18-19, 2000]: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 02-423, 85 p. on one CD-ROM. (Available online at pubs.usgs.gov/of/2002/of02-423/.)
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Proceedings for a Workshop on Deposit Modeling, Mineral Resource Assessment, and Their Role in Sustainable Development