The open pit of the Cripple Creek Victor gold mine, July ©2011 hopkins/neoscenes


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Colorado has a 2.7 billion-year-long geologic history that determined where mineral resources occur and how easily they might be accessed. The state has a wealth of diverse mineral resources, including construction materials—sand, stone, and gravel; mineral fuels—oil, coal, and uranium; gemstones; metallic minerals—gold, silver, and molybdenum; along with rare earth (REE) and other critical minerals. The locations and availability of these abundant resources was, and still is, formative of the human history and development of the state.

Mineral Resources

Martin Marietta Aggregates in Jefferson County, Colorado, March 2013. Photo credit: Michael O'Keeffe for the CGS.

Industrial Minerals

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Diamonds in the rough, note the regular octahedral forms and trigons (of positive and negative relief) formed by natural chemical etching. Photo credit: Wikimedia.


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Uranium-bearing minerals, Uravan area, Colorado, May 2005. Photo credit: Jason Price for the CGS.

Strategic and Critical Minerals

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Samples of rare-earth elements in their oxidized state. Photo credit: Peggy Greb, Agricultural Research Center of United States Department of Agriculture.

Rare Earth

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Leadville Colorado, (date unknown). Photo credit: unknown.

Historic Mining Districts

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For more than a century CGS geoscientists have conducted field and laboratory research to identify where mineral resources occur and their geologic context. We also study the complex interactions between current and historic mining, mineral deposits, and the state’s water resources. The CGS regularly publishes the results of this important research on the mineral resources of the state.

See the GIS Dasta tab for current minerals research in the form of GIS map and data publications. The Publications tab includes a full bibliography of CGS minerals-related publications going back to the beginning of the 20th century. And, for an exhaustive listing of links that were used for the most recent IS-82 Colorado Mineral and Energy Industry Activities 2018-2019 report, see the Resource tab.