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The Potential Supply of Minerals from Undiscovered Copper Silver Deposits in the Kootenai National Forest.
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This U.S. Bureau of Mines study estimates the potential supply of copper and silver from revett-type deposits in the Kootenai National Forest. It demonstrates the types and forms of minerals information available to land managers in the Forest Service as a result of the geologic, engineering, and economic expertise available from the U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Bureau of Mines. The study integrates a geologic assessment of the mineral resources in the region, engineering feasibility studies of mining and concentrating ores from undiscovered revett-type mineral deposits, and an economic evaluation of metal production and the potential impact of mining on the local economy. Assuming current prices and technology, and full access to the mineral deposits, it is very likely (almost certain) that economically recoverable copper and silver deposits remain to be found within the Kootenai National Forest. Production from these deposits may continue well into the next century, generating thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in new income for the region. Approximately 12 deposits would be economically recoverable at current prices, producing a total of over 6.2 million tons of copper and 1.45 billion troy ounces of silver. In peak years, these 12 deposits could generate up to 5,000 new jobs (including both direct and indirect employment), and over $160 million in annual regional earnings (wages, salaries, and other compensation). Optimistic scenarios (a 1-in-20 chance) produce double the earnings and triple the peak year employment impacts.
For Reference Only At Bureau Libraries
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division