WMU researchers look for crucial mineral deposits

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Researchers at Western Michigan University’s Department of Geology and Environmental Services are using a government grant to identify critical mineral deposits in Michigan.

The Trump Administration has declared 35 mineral commodities critical to the country.

Michigan has several large deposits of some of those minerals, including magnesium, platinum and potash. Most of the deposits are in the western Upper Peninsula.

Researchers at the Michigan Geological Survey at WMU say this program was developed to reduce dependency on mineral imports.  

“They identified that there were 35 minerals that we were either 100 percent or very largely dependent on import. They suggested there be a program instituted in the US to find more resources of those minerals,” said William Harrison, director of Michigan Geological Repository for Research and Education at WMU.

A photo of Western Michigan University's Department of Geology and Environmental Services. (July 17, 2019)
A photo of Western Michigan University’s Department of Geology and Environmental Services. (July 17, 2019)

Michigan was one of 44 states that received funding from the United States Geological Survey. 

“There are hundreds of minerals that we use in our everyday life. Everything we make, from cell phones to televisions to all of the infrastructure that we have, is made from minerals,” Harrison said.

It will take about a year to put the report together.  After that, the findings will be made public. 

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