This publication contains the results of a national mineral resource assessment study. The study (1) identifies regional tracts of ground believed to contain most of the nation's undiscovered resources of gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc in conventional types of deposits; and (2) includes probabilistic estimates of the amounts of these undiscovered resources in most of the tracts. It also contains a table of the significant known deposits in the tracts, and includes descriptions of the mineral deposit models used for the assessment.
The assessment was previously released in two major publications. The conterminous United States assessment was published in 1996 as USGS Open-File Report 96-96. Subsequently, the Alaska assessment was combined with the conterminous assessment in 1998 and released as USGS Circular 1178.
This new recompilation was undertaken for several reasons. First, the graphical browser software used in Circular 1178 was ONLY compatible with the Microsoft Windows operating system. It was incompatible with the Macintosh operating system, Linux, and other types of Unix computers. Second, the browser on Circular 1178 is much less intuitive to operate, requiring most users to follow a tutorial to understand how to navigate the information on the CD. Third, this release corrects several errors and numbering inconsistencies in Circular 1178.