USGS Estimates 260 Million MT Of Undiscovered Copper In Northeast Asia

USGS Estimates 260 Million MT of Undiscovered Copper in Northeast AsiaThe US Geological Survey (USGS) has released its latest update on the potential for undiscovered copper deposits in Northeast Asia. The government agency estimates that the area holds about 260 million metric tons (MT) of copper associated with undiscovered porphyry deposits.

That's about 30 times the amount of copper identified in the two known copper deposits in Northeast Asia: the 7-million-MT Peschanka deposit in the interior of Northeastern Russia and the Lora deposit, with 1 million MT of identified copper, also in Russia.

Mainly focusing on Far East Russia and a small part of Northeasternmost China, the USGS report looks at five mineral resource assessment regions known to be conducive to hosting porphyry-type deposits. The largest region assessed was found to contain 53 significant porphyry copper prospects in addition to no less than 50 other smaller copper prospects.

That assessment is part of a broader cooperative international effort to "assess the world's undiscovered mineral resources" called the Global Mineral Resource Assessment Project (GMRAP). It's a project that has been going on for quite some time, involving partnerships with geological organizations in China, Canada, Chile, Turkey and Russia, to name a few.

As per this USGS article from 2002, the purpose of the project is to provide a global context to help inform planning and decision making in terms of sustainable resource development.

"Although no global shortages of nonfuel mineral resources are expected in the near future, the growing demand for and utilization of mineral resources require continued exploration and development of as-yet undiscovered mineral deposits," the article reads. "The results of global mineral resource assessments will provide a regional and global context for viewing the nation's mineral-resource base, help plan new mineral exploration and sustainable resource development, and aid regional resource, land-use, and environmental planning."