skip all navigation
skip banner links
skip primary navigation

Research — Mineral Resources

Use criteria in the form below to search by subject, program, keyword, feature or region. Combining search criteria may provide few or no results.




   
There are 10 projects that match your criteria:
MINES Thermodynamic Database
figure

The MINES Thermodynamic Database is an initiative to generate a revised internally consistent thermodynamic dataset for minerals, aqueous species and gases for simulating geochemical processes at hydrothermal conditions in the upper crust (≤5 kbar and ≤600 °C) with focus on ore forming processes.

Alexander GysiEconomic Geologist

[read more...]

Do Martian manganese oxide deposits reveal biosignatures?
figure

The recent discovery of manganese oxides on Mars suggests more oxygen was present in the Martian atmosphere the originally thought. A pilot project was recently funded by NASA to test the feasibility of discovering biosignatures in manganese deposits on Mars with payload instruments. There are two primary goals for this project; the first is to identify key chemical signatures and second to identify key mineralogical signatures in natural biologic and abiologic manganese materials. The pilot project will focus on three field sites in New Mexico that display features of formation that range from at or near the surface then extend to the deeper subsurface; essentially examining manganese deposits from surface, cave, geothermal springs, finally fossil hydrothermal environments. Should sufficient variation be noted during the pilot project, additional funding to the project will further characterize terrestrial occurrences for comparison to Mars by utilizing rover payload instruments

[read more...]

Lemitar Carbonatite: Exploring the Hidden World of Minerals: A Spectroscopic Adventure!
figure

At the forefront of cutting-edge research at New Mexico Tech, we have been utilizing Raman spectroscopy to unravel the mysteries locked within minerals. By harnessing the power of visible and ultraviolet lasers, we can unlock a plethora of information. So, you may be asking, what is Raman spectroscopy? In simple terms, it's a technique that uses laser light to interact with the atomic vibrations of a material, producing a unique "fingerprint" of its molecular composition. By analyzing the scattered light, we are able to identify and characterize minerals such as apatite, fluorite, and calcite.

[read more...]

REE in Coal and associated strata in the San Juan and Raton basins, New Mexico
figure

The Department of Energy has awarded New Mexico Tech a contract to examine rare earth elements (REE) and other critical minerals (CM) in coal and associated strata in the San Juan and Raton basins in northern New Mexico. Critical minerals are mineral resources that are essential to our economy and whose supply may be disrupted (/publications/periodicals/earthmatters/23/n1/em_v23_n1.pdf). Most CM are 100% imported into the U.S. Many CM are found in the San Juan and Raton basins of New Mexico.

[read more...]

Questa Rock Pile Weathering Stability Study

Chevron, Inc. (formerly Molycorp, Inc.) funded a major consortium to assess and identify the future risk of weathering on physical failure of existing rock piles based on the physical, chemical and mineralogical composition and weathering of the piles at Chevron's Questa mine, in Taos County, New Mexico.

[read more...]

Helium Resources in New Mexico
figure

Helium is the second most abundant element in the universe but is rare on Earth. Helium has unique physical and chemical properties that render it indispensable to our modern technological society – it is requisite for the operation of MRI instruments and in the manufacture of computer chips and fiber optic cables. However, helium gas deposits are rare, and helium is typically a trace component of natural gases being emitted at the Earth’s surface. As established supplies have become stressed, the price of helium gas has increases from $18 per thousand ft3 to more than $200 per thousand ft3. Helium has been mined in New Mexico, and the location of helium resources has been mapped by Ron Broadhead, our principal senior petroleum geologist at the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources.

[read more...]

AML Project: Inventory and Characterization of Legacy/inactive/abandoned mine (AML) features in New Mexico
figure

The NMBGMR has been examining the environmental effects of mine waste rock piles throughout New Mexico since the early 1990s. There are tens of thousands of inactive or abandoned mine features in 274 mining districts in New Mexico (including coal, uranium, metals, and industrial minerals districts), however many of them have not been inventoried or prioritized for reclamation. The New Mexico Abandoned Mine Lands Bureau of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department estimates that there are more than 15,000 abandoned mine features in the state. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management recently estimated that more than 10,000 mine features are on BLM lands in New Mexico and only 705 sites have been reclaimed. The U.S. Park Service has identified 71 mine features in 7 parks in New Mexico, of which 12 have been mitigated and 34 require mitigation. Additional sites have been reclaimed by the responsible companies and the Superfund program (CERCLA).

The New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources has collected published and unpublished data on the districts, mines, deposits, occurrences, and mills since it was created in 1927 and is slowly converting historical data into a relational database, the New Mexico Mines Database. More than 8,000 mines are recorded in the New Mexico Mines Database and more than 7,000 are inactive or abandoned. These mines often include two or more actual mine features. Past funding has been from the Army Corps of Engineers, the New Mexico Abandoned Mine Lands Bureau of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, and EPSoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research; http://archive.nmepscor.org/). Some of this project is now funded under the U.S. Geological Survey EARTH MRI program (Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI) | U.S. Geological Survey (usgs.gov).

[read more...]

Geology and Evolution of the Copper Flat Porphyry System, Sierra County, New Mexico
figure

The Hillsboro district, in central New Mexico, is an example of the typical geologic style of the development of Laramide porphyry copper deposits in southwestern United States. Porphyry copper deposits form from hydrothermal fluids that come from a magmatic source, generally a volcano. The copper is concentrated first by magmatic-hydrothermal processes, then copper can be further concentrated by later supergene fluids, typically meteoric waters. Porphyry copper deposits typically are large deposits and are mined mostly by open pit methods and can have by-product production of gold, silver, molybdenum, and other metals. Other types of deposits, such as skarns and polymetallic veins can occur near the porphyry copper deposits. Much of the world's copper is produced from porphyry copper deposits.

[read more...]

Uranium Transport and Sources in New Mexico: A five-year EPSCoR program
figure

In 2013, a team of New Mexico Tech researchers began a study of uranium transport, uranium source characteristics, and uranium legacy issues in New Mexico. The effort was funded by Energize New Mexico, a five-year NSF EPSCoR program that concluded in 2018 and that encompassed five research components focused on developing non-carbon emitting energy technologies. The uranium team, which included researchers from UNM, addressed uranium deposits and mine waste mainly in the Grants Mining District, including Laguna Pueblo, and on Navajo Nation lands. These uranium studies span a range of science and engineering disciplines, and not only provide new conclusions impacting remediation, hazard management, and uranium extraction, but hold implications for human health.

[read more...]

Scientists Use Ancient Ore Deposits to Predict Ground Water Quality and Paleoclimate
figure

Two Bureau of Geology scientists, in collaboration with scientists at the United State Geological Survey, have discovered similarities between ground water systems that formed ore deposits 10 million years ago and modern ground water in the Rio Grande Rift. They reported their work in an invited presentation at the 2000 Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America.

Dr. Virgil Lueth, mineralogist/ economic geologist, and Lisa Peters, senior lab associate at the New Mexico Geochronological Research Lab, have been studying the mineral jarosite in ore deposits from Chihuahua, Mexico, to Albuquerque.

[read more...]