As defined in Section 1010 of ANILCA, the primary purpose of the Mineral Assessment Program in Alaska is to identify and investigate the known and potential mineral occurrences on all federal public land in the state, and to produce data in a final report for the needs of land planners to make responsible land-use decisions. Additionally, the Mineral Assessment Program identifies area where there may be future sustainable development of mineral resources under a multiple use approach to land management.
Although special or site-specific studies are required periodically, the primary thrust of the BLM’s mineral assessment program is regional “mining district” studies. The objective of mining district studies are to determine the type, amount and distribution of mineral deposits, and make resource estimates when possible. These studies consist of locating, sampling, surveying and mapping historic mines, prospects and occurrences, and following up on newly discovered mineralization.
The BLM will continue to conduct special studies periodically that are necessitated by specific events or issues. Special mineral assessment and economic studies might involve lands slated for land exchanges, in support of specific land planning needs, or other public purposes, depending on funding and personnel availability.