IS-17 Geology and Resource Potential of Strategic Minerals in Colorado


Production, geologic occurrence, and future potential of strategic and critical minerals (i.e., those containing tungsten, tin, thorium, columbium, titanium, manganese, aluminum, vanadium, and fluorspar). Includes map of principle strategic mineral occurrences in Colorado. 70 pages. 1 figure. 19 tables. 1 plate (1:1,000,000).  Digital PDF download. IS-17D

From the abstract:

Colorado has huge resources of certain undeveloped strategic minerals that could supply significant percentages, if not all, of our national requirements for those commodities. Columbium, titanium, and aluminum mineral resources fall into this category. Their development however, is dependent on one or more of several economic factors including availability of relatively cheap imports, technologic breakthrough in improved beneficiation and recovery, government subsidy, availability of large amounts of venture capital, and, in the case of aluminum from dawsonite, large-scale development of oil shale in areas containing the saline materials.

Other commodities, some of which have had historic production, have the potential of supplying lower but still significant percentages of our strategic mineral requirements. These include tungsten, tin, thorium, and fluorspar. These commodities have been or are being produced and could supply significant percentages of our national needs during periods of international crises. Future production of tungsten and fluorspar is more dependent on favorable price structure than any other factor. Tin, produced as a by-product of molybdenum, is dependent on production at Climax. Thorium demand is relatively low now, but greater reliance on nuclear power generation and conversion to high-temperature gas reactors could greatly increase the demand for thorium.