Deposit Classification Scheme for the Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative Global Geochemical Database

Open-File Report 2021-1049
Prepared as part of a joint research program between the U.S. Geological Survey, Geological Survey of Canada, Geological Survey of Queensland, and Geoscience Australia
By: , and 



A challenge for the global economy is to meet the growing demand for commodities used in today’s advanced technologies. Critical minerals are commodities (for example, elements, compounds, minerals) deemed vital to the economic and national security of individual countries that are vulnerable to supply disruption. The national geological agencies of Australia, Canada, and the United States recently joined forces to advance understanding and foster development of critical mineral resources in their respective countries through the Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative (CMMI). An initial goal of the CMMI is to fill the knowledge gap on the abundance of critical minerals in ores. To do this, the CMMI compiled modern multielement geochemical data generated by each agency on ore samples collected from historical and active mines and prospects from around the world. To identify relationships between critical minerals, deposit types, deposit environments, and mineral systems, a unified deposit classification scheme was needed. This report describes the scheme developed by the CMMI to classify the initial release of geochemical data. In 2021, the resulting database—along with basic query, statistical analysis, and display tools—will be served to the public through a web-based portal managed by Geoscience Australia. The database will enable users to trace critical minerals through mineral systems and identify individual deposits or deposit types that are potential sources of critical minerals.

Suggested Citation

Hofstra, A., Lisitsin, V., Corriveau, L., Paradis, S., Peter, J., Lauzière, K., Lawley, C., Gadd, M., Pilote, J., Honsberger, I., Bastrakov, E., Champion, D., Czarnota, K., Doublier, M., Huston, D., Raymond, O., VanDerWielen, S., Emsbo, P., Granitto, M., and Kreiner, D., 2021, Deposit classification scheme for the Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative Global Geochemical Database: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1049, 60 p.,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Background
  • Problem
  • Approach
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Deposit classification scheme for the Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative Global Geochemical Database
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2021-1049
DOI 10.3133/ofr20211049
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry Science Center
Description Report: v, 60 p.; 1 Table
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details