Economic Geology

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For more information, contact:
  Dick Berg
   406.496.4172 (tel)
   406.496.4451 (fax)   email Dick Berg


or Robin McCulloch
   406.496.4171 (tel)
   406.496.4451 (fax)   email Rob McCulloch


The Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology has a continuing program of research into industrial mineral commodities that are either being mined in Economic geology statsthe State or have the potential to be mined. In recent years the results of investigations on sapphires and zeolites have been released either in publication or in open-file reports. Current projects include work on talc, chlorite, vermiculite, and zeolites as well as occurrences of other industrial minerals in the State and general market information. The MBMG also houses an inventory of maps, mineral property files, and production records on properties. These are primarily metallic minerals but industrial commodities are included. Current research is also being focused on metallic districts and gold placers.


This past year in Montana saw some extremes, including high commodity prices and a continuing scarcity of venture capital and exploration companies. For the most part, the industrial mineral companies experienced steady growth, accompanied by the hiring of a few replacement employees from the business decline in 2008–2009. The crash of the housing market had severe implications for the Portland cement industry; capital investments in infrastructure have been delayed and reduced. Although the industrial use of cement has recovered steadily, the housing industry is not expected to show any significant change until 2013 or later. This has resulted in an oversupply and has caused temporary closures at local plants.

The metals portion of the mining industry has enjoyed high demand and wonderful prices. However, as costs have risen steadily for energy, steel, and equipment, company profits have not been as high as one would expect.

Montana Exploration 2010-larger image



Montana Mining and Exploration Report—2010
      (pdf file format 0.25 Mb)



Montana Active Mines 2010-larger image