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Tellurium Deposits in the United States


Publication Date


Karl, N.A., and Mauk, J.L., 2019, Tellurium Deposits in the United States: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


This data release provides the description of U.S. sites that include mineral regions, mines and mineral occurrences (deposits) that have a contained resource and (or) production of tellurium metal greater than 1 metric ton. For this data release, only one deposit in the U.S. with historic production records was found: Butte, Montana. We did not locate any deposits in the U.S. that list Te resources. Production facilities, such as the ASARCO LLC’s copper refinery in Amarillo, Texas are not included within this database. Tellurium is necessary for strategic, consumer, and commercial applications. The primary use for tellurium is for Cd-Te film solar cells. Other uses are as an alloying additive to steel to improve machining characteristics, [...]


Point of Contact :
Jeffrey L Mauk
Originator :
Nick A Karl, Jeffrey L Mauk
Metadata Contact :
Carma A San Juan
Publisher :
U.S. Geological Survey
Distributor :
U.S. Geological Survey - ScienceBase
USGS Mission Area :
Energy and Minerals
SDC Data Owner :
Mineral Resources Program

Attached Files

Click on title to download individual files attached to this item.

“Data documentation and instructions”
Original FGDC Metadata

76.1 KB
“Readme file”
8.36 KB
“Tellurium data (csv files)”
8.75 KB
“Tellurium data and dictionary (Excel files)”
139.37 KB
“Tellurium Geodatabase”
1.52 MB
“Tellurium Shapefiles”
113.75 KB
“Fort Carson, CO, ground-mounted solar photovoltaic array. The mineral enargite.”
thumbnail 1.51 MB
“ArcGIS service definition, contains mxd and GIS data”
1.11 MB


This dataset is part of an ongoing effort by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to understand the attributes and geologic distribution of critical mineral resources, both globally, and in particular, within the United States. The United States continues to become more dependent on imports to meet the domestic demands for an increasing number of mineral commodities. Many mineral commodities are now produced primarily or entirely outside of the United States, creating the potential for supply interruptions in the foreseeable future, or in the long term. These important but highly dependent mineral commodities are deemed critical and (or) strategic resources. As a part of the process set forth by Executive Order 13817, the USGS National Minerals Information Center (NMIC) identified tellurium as a critical mineral (Department of the Interior, 2018) due to the import reliance and importance in the sectors of defense, energy, and telecommunications (Fortier and others, 2018). Tellurium is principally recovered from anode slimes as a byproduct of electrolytic copper refining, and in the U.S., the main deposits of tellurium are likely the porphyry Cu deposits of the western U.S. This dataset was compiled to provide base layers of information that identify and describe the known tellurium deposits in the United States. This compilation is intended to contribute to our geologic understanding of tellurium deposits in the United States, and to assist in evaluating their resource potential. References Cited Department of the Interior, 2018, Final list of critical minerals 2018: Federal Register v. 83, no. 97, p. 23295—23296, Fortier, S.M., Nassar, N.T., Lederer, G.W., Brainard, Jamie, Gambogi, Joseph, and McCullough, E.A., 2018, Draft critical mineral list—Summary of methodology and background information—U.S. Geological Survey technical input document in response to Secretarial Order No. 3359: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1021, 15 p.,

Additional Information


Type Scheme Key
DOI doi:10.5066/P9XANDRN

ArcGIS Service Definition Extension

titleArcGIS service definition, contains mxd and GIS data
dateUploadedMon Jul 15 07:20:30 MDT 2019

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