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OCR for page 68
Appendix G MI~SAJ~ INDUSTRY STATUS REPORT by G.A. Barber A summary of the status of the U.S. minerals industry's background on global and international geology can be addressed in three parts: . Minerals Industry Current International Geology Data Base International Geology Data Base Deficiencies Recommendations MINERALS INDUSTRY CURRENT INTERNATIONAL GEOLOGY DATA BASE Critical data regarding geology and mineral resources are acquired domestic minerals industry from both internal and outside The term 'data" refers to information including broad by the _ sources. geologic concepts, concentrations, resources ore deposit genesis, mineral commodity , and reserves; mineral exploration; and exploration techniques. These subjects represent the principal interests of mineral exploration groups. Internal data sources vary with the organization, and include one or more of the following: Exploration/Scouting Offices Mine Operation Staffs Corporate Planning Units Sales Offices Affiliated/Subsidiary Company Contacts Sources of information outside company organizations are more extensive, and include: Federal, state, and local government agencies, such as U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Bureau of Mines Academic institutions, through theses, research, and faculty/student consultants Note: Report was completed on June 24, 1983. 68

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69 Private consultants Technical meetings, field trips, etc. Libraries Data banks Financial institutions Mine/Projects visits Foreign sources, including publications, news services, and government agencies. Examples of available publications and the broad range of geology-related meetings are attached. INTERNATIONAL GEOLOGY DATA BASE DEFICIENCIES There are five principal concerns with respect to the dissemination of global/international geologic data within the U.S. minerals industry: Timeliness in publishing announcements/descriptions of significant world-wide geologic events, concepts, etc. Verification of reported data accuracy. Incomplete data, particularly from COMECON countries and Third World nations. Lack of a common depository for international data. Distribution of pertinent geologic data to the U.S. public, as it relates to the general welfare of the nation, either directly or through news media. RECOMMENDATIONS These deficiencies could be rectified by establishing a central depository and distribution center within an existing, or to-be-established, U.S. agency with responsibility for: Maintaining a continual exchange of pertinent geologic/mineral resource data with corresponding information sources in other countries through publications, correspondence, telex, telephone, personal visits, etc. Screening and appraising data. Promptly distributing pertinent reports to government, academic, private industry, and news media groups, with interpretive comments regarding the potential impact of particular geologic events/concepts/statistics on the U.S. public. Assisting in organizing reliable geologic data sources in other countries. One of the basic problems that the U.S. minerals industry faces in contributing to a geologic data base is the perceived proprietary nature of some resource information. If a neutral depository did

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70 exist, arrangements could be made for appropriate screening to avoidinclusion of sensitive information which a supplier wished to withhold from general distribution. Since geology is considered to be a "pure science," most pertinent international geologic data should be available without infringing on a company's concern regarding the competitive edge. There are a number of options as to which U.S. agency should assume this responsibility. These include the designation of a new unit within the proposed Department of International Trade and Industry which is expected to be established in the near future. The data accumulation/distribution center might be included within the existing U.S. Bureau of Mines or U.S. Geological Survey organizations. An inventory of processing capabilities in these agencies could be made immediately in preparation for recommending a depository. The status of the geologic/mineral resource data base in the U.S is embarrassing when one reviews publications, organizational charts, and reported capabilities of the numerous active agencies throughout the world, such as France's B.R.G.M., Atomic Energy Commission, and Uranium Research Center. Other major data sources exist in West Germany, England, Australia, and Canada. We obviously have a long way to go to catch up with these counterparts. .