Reliable information concerning the locations and amounts of undiscovered mineral resources is important for several purposes. Exploration and mining companies require such information to support investment decisions, and political and administrative organisations need it to support decisions concerned with land-use planning. Research institutions use the information to widen and deepen the knowledge on raw material deposits and to be able to deliver advice to the society, industry and administrative and political entities.
US Geological Survey (USGS) has developed the so-called three-part quantitative assessment method, which is used to provide estimates of the location and amount of undiscovered mineral resources. The method has been in use since the mid-1970s, and for the last decade, Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) and USGS have used it to assess selected metallic commodities on global and national scales.
Although the three-part method framework is considered sound, there are features missing from the present workflow and software used, which would increase the value and usability of the assessment results. These include further automation of the process of delineating areas to be assessed, classification of the assessment areas based on their mineral potential, estimation of the proportion of the undiscovered resource that could be economically recoverable, and smooth workflow throughout the whole assessment process. Training and education are needed to increase the awareness and understanding concerning the assessment method and products. The MAP project aims to address these issues.