Geologists use helicopter flights to map mineral deposits in the salmon region


MOSCOW, Idaho – September 23, 2021 – The result of a geophysical survey in a remote part of eastern Idaho could have economic impacts on Gem State by identifying locations to extract cobalt and other minerals.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) and the Idaho Geological Survey (IGS), a state agency located at the University of Idaho in Moscow, are conducting an airborne geophysical survey over 1,200 square miles west of Salmon.

Using equipment that detects the region’s magnetic and radiometric signature, low-level helicopter flights over the Idaho Cobalt Belt, a rugged mountainous region of the Salmon National Forest, aim know the amount of cobalt and other mineral resources, including copper and rare earth metals. are in ancient rock layers.

“We have historical and regional data in the region,” said Claudio Berti, director and state geologist of the IGS. “This study will provide high-resolution geophysical information to add to what we already know about the structures and subterranean geometry of the rocks that contain the minerals.”

Cobalt was considered an essential mineral by a presidential executive order, and the Idaho Cobalt Belt contains the largest undeveloped cobalt resources in the United States, according to the USGS. The data from the study will provide fundamental information on the elemental composition of rocks. It will support the interpretation of regional geological structures, allowing a deeper and new understanding of the complex geology of the Salmon region, Berti said. One more sentence needed here on the economic impact on the Gem State.

The month-long flights to the region will last until early October, Berti said.

To secure funds for the investigation, IGS partnered with Idaho Cobalt Company, a subsidiary of First Cobalt Corp., New Jersey Mining Company and Idaho’s Revival Gold Inc., fostering a public-private partnership intended to benefit the Idaho-based industry and the local economy, Berti said.

The IGS and USGS as part of the Federal Earth Mapping Resources Initiative jointly designed the survey. The data will be made public.

Media contacts

Claudio Berti, Ph.D.
Director and State Geologist
Idaho Geological Survey

Ralph Bartholdt
Communication manager
University of Idaho Communication and Marketing

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