online geology resources

The Top 10 Online Resources for Mining Geologists

By: Erik Ronald, PG
Mining Geology HQ

18 November 2016

The fields of geology and mining aren’t typically associated with the term “online” but the world today allows mining professionals to access a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips (assuming your mobile coverage works!). As more and more professionals rely on the internet for information, we’re providing you the top 10 resources for mining and exploration geologists.

  1. Google Earth (

What better way to learn about the Earth than by viewing high-resolution satellite imagery of the entire planet? Download Google Earth Pro and start exploring. It’s easier than ever to transfer GIS data into Google Earth along with downloading public geological data. Keep an eye out for our Mineral Exploration using Google Earth™ guidebook coming soon!

  1. MinDat ( provides an excellent resource for information on minerals, rocks, gems and even some mine sites. Use their Advanced Search feature to search by location, mineral properties, chemistry, or the mineral name. Whenever you’re at a loss when someone asks “what’s in this rock?”, MinDat is a great resource.

  1. U. S. Geological Survey (

It’s hard to beat the USGS for free geological information. The USGS has been a premier global resource for all-things-geology for years, with emphasis on North American data. They have more than just maps though, you can easily get lost for hours in world class information on Mineral Resources, deposit models, and more.

  1. (

A good source for all things geology-related. doesn’t cover just one discipline within geology but does a nice job of providing information on a wide range of subjects. Check out their dictionary of geological terms as well. It can be a handy reference when reading articles to look up some obscure terms.

  1. Infomine (

Infomine is a Vancouver-based, mining-focused website providing a vast amount of information, news, and a good job board.

  1. RSC Mining & Mineral Exploration (

RSC has created a great online tool that allows you to review exploration and Mineral Resource data globally with helpful searchable filters. Not only can you view properties and mine sites on a map, you can also download the associated public reports such as NI43-101.

  1. Professional Mining Organizations

Yes, the same professional organizations that require membership fees also provide a good deal of free information and references on their web sites. These include:

  1. (

This is the one online resource listed here that’s not free unless you’re already a member of a professional organization such as the ones listed in #7. Once logged in, allows you to read and download thousands of technical publications from hundreds of journals and organizations at no additional cost.

  1. Wikipedia (

This is the same Wikipedia where you can waste hours reading random historical references or your 11-year-old plagiarizes their homework assignment. Being the largest encyclopedia in human history has its advantages though and it contains a lot of general geology, chemical, and mineralogical information.

  1. Mining Geology HQ (

We couldn’t make a list of top online resources without including ourselves! Perhaps that’s a bit self-centered but check out the Resources drop-down menu for helpful references on a variety of mining geology subjects including overviews on deposit types, geostatistical training, and helpful publications to download.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this Top 10 list. We’d love to hear your personal favourite online resource to share with others. As always, if you found this article helpful don’t forget to “like” it and share with friends. Cheers!

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Posted in Mineral Exploration.


  1. As an exploration consultant and a former IT coordinator in mineral exploration for a Canadian major, I’ve watched GIS evolve from nothing to career sustaining. I’ve also watched the corporate IT geeks posture, position and empire build along with the increasing size and complexity of major GIS programs.

    But one of the greatest tools is accurately listed above in the #1 position. And it’s free.

    Google Earth can comfortably accomplish 90% of field work tabulation. Yet I meet so many geos, particularly from majors, who don’t even know what a KMZ/KML file is and struggle in camp every evening with cumbersome GIS programs that are best suited for designing city infrastructure than posting soil samples.

    As a contractor, I can not afford the cost of the various GIS programs used by my clients. More critically, I cannot afford the time or brain cells to become effective with them.

    Yet here is a free program that interfaces with every GIS out there (or better, the GIS interfaces with GE), accepts data instantly from field GPSs (underutilized by many geos), tablets or laptops used in the field, has a huge number of associated utilities and has KMZ format data now readily available from so many sources.

    Yet so many companies stick with big GIS programs for simple field tasks.

    Somewhere a few years ago, I read of developments of add-ons for 3D drill data and ore modeling using GE. These programs essentially turn the terrain opaque and displays data from a spreadsheet in 3D space. Kind of sounds like the other world of expensive modelling software, doesn’t it? Except it will be free as well.

    So you young folks either in GIS or ore modelling software and thinking of them as a career, Google “IBM Selectric”.

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