About Mines Database

Introduction to Mines and Prospects Database

The Idaho Geological Survey's (IGS) Mines and Prospects Digital Database contains information on over 8,000 mining properties in Idaho. This inventory of mining activity and production is a valuable research tool, particularly for mineral exploration and land management. All available sources have been used to compile and correct this information, including published and unpublished reference materials, the U.S. Geological Survey's Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS), and the U.S. Bureau of Mines' Mineral Industry Location Subsystem (MILS). Every effort has been made to make the database complete and accurate; however, any additions or corrections should be directed to the Idaho Geological Survey.

Each mine or prospect is identified by its map location number, which is also the property number in the IGS's mining property files. Each entry contains sections of information from the IGS's files, and selected fields from the U.S. Bureau of Mines MILS database and the U.S. Geological Survey's MRDS database.

Production figures for Au, Ag, Cu, Pb, and Zn were compiled from U.S. Bureau of Mines' unpublished records. For lode mines, the total amounts of ore produced and old tailings reprocessed (if any) are reported in tons; where tailings were reprocessed, these numbers are listed after a slash (i.e., ore/tailings). For placer mines, the production is given in yards of material processed. Production tonnage (or yardage) is most useful for determining the relative size of a deposit. For an individual deposit, caution should be used in comparing the tons of ore or yards of gravel mined with the metals obtained from the ore, because for some years the total amount (tons or yards) mined may be unknown or the data may be incomplete. For the commodities, gold and silver are in troy ounces; copper, lead, and zinc are in pounds. Reliable production data are not available for other commodities. To protect mining company confidentiality, single letters represent broad ranges in the amounts of ore and commodities produced (see below). These letters appear in the fields marked ORE and COMMOD.

The first editions of the Mines and Prospects Map Series were funded jointly under contracts and cooperative agreements between the Idaho Bureau of Mines and Geology (now the Idaho Geological Survey) and the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Bureau of Mines, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. For the second edition, the maps and property listings incorporated corrections and new data accumulated since the original maps were published. This revision was done as part of the Idaho Initiative Mapping Program, a cooperative research project between the Idaho Geological Survey, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Bureau of Mines. Preparation of these digital publications is an on going process. As such this product has not been reviewed for conformity with the editorial standards of the Idaho Geological Survey. The data is current to the date on the disk label. The compilers for the various editions of the Mines and Prospects for Idaho were Victoria E. Mitchell, Ruth E. Vance, William B. Strowd, Gail S. Hustedde, Julie A. Copeland, Margaret H. Ott, and Earl H. Bennett.