Identifying Pathways for Enhanced Collaboration Between the Mining and Geothermal Industries

Aaron Levine, Greg Rhodes

Research output: NRELPresentation


The locatable mineral industry is shifting toward improving environmental performance and becoming more sustainable, with numerous mining companies shifting to renewable energy technologies to power mine operations and at least one company pledging net-zero emissions by 2050. One potential electricity source to help achieve improved environmental performance and decarbonization within the mining industry is geothermal energy. As part of a study into potential collaboration between the geothermal and locatable mineral industries (focused on the portion of the Basin and Range Province within Nevada), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) with support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO), investigated data, economic, and regulatory factors that may contribute to or inhibit synergies between the two industries. The objectives of the study included analyzing: The type and quality of data collected by the locatable mineral industry to determine feasibility for geothermal resource exploration; The regulatory pathways and potential barriers that could prevent development of geothermal resources discovered via a mining claim (and vice versa); The historical development of geothermal resources discovered via mineral exploration data; The value propositions for both the locatable mineral and the geothermal industries to collaborate.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NamePresented at the MineXchange 2021 SME Annual Conference & Expo, 1-3 March 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-6A20-80588


  • exploration
  • geologic
  • geothermal
  • mining
  • regulatory


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