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Mineral Information and Small Miner Assistance

Lexington Mine, Silver Bow County, MontanaThe Mineral Information and Small Miner Assistance Program is a repository of mine and mineral data gathered since the 1800s. We have totals on commodity production since the 1800s as well as individual mine production since 1901. (The individual property production records are only available with permission of the owner).

The database is organized by property and also includes bibliographies of previously published research. Although incomplete, it contains approximately 4,000 surface and underground maps and files on approximately 5,000 of 8,600 known properties. Many of the properties on federal lands have been assessed for environmental risk. Soon, this database will be available online.

During the field season (usually May through September) information on current projects is gathered, and surveys are conducted on inactive properties for the repository. Much of the data are used by large- and small-scale companies to make investment decisions for exploration and development properties. The Mining and Exploration Report, a statistical compilation on each active exploration and mining project, is generated from this information. Those data are commonly used by individuals to secure jobs, investors to make decisions, vendors to make contact for sales, the public for mining industry information, and by others for various uses.

Within this program, we answer questions about mining history, current and past mining technology, mineral potential, mining law and regulations, and property availability. In addition to gathering data in the field, we provide technical assistance and training for small-scale Montana mining operations. Experience has shown this proactive approach has reduced environmental impacts and increased financial stability for these small operations. Field time also is used to experiment with technology developed jointly during these visits by the mine operators and MBMG technical staff.