Economic Geology Program

MBMG’s Economic Geology program maps geology, conducts geochemical and geophysical research on ore deposits, and investigates mineral resource prospectivity in the state of Montana. This work generates objective public information that is used by exploration and mining companies, small miners and prospectors, landowners, federal and state government agencies, and other research organizations and stakeholders.

MBMG economic geologists publish detailed studies of both potential and historic mining districts. These studies use a combination of traditional fieldwork techniques and modern geochemical and mineralogical investigations to improve our understanding of ore-forming processes. We collaborate with Montana Technological University, the U.S. Geological Survey, the minerals industry, and other research organizations to support student projects and train the next generation of geoscientists and prospectors.

Recent concerns about resource supply chains have focused the MBMG in terms of understanding "critical mineral" resources in Montana. Critical minerals are mineral commodities identified by the U.S. Geological Survey as essential to the Nation, and are currently imported from unreliable foreign sources. In addition to state funding, the economic geology program receives federal grants, including from the USGS Earth Mapping Resources Initiative, that support critical minerals research in Montana.

Contact Adrian Van Rythoven or Kyle Eastman for more information on economic geology research at the MBMG.

Montana Mining and Exploration Map–2020

Montana Mining and Exploration Map–2020