- Associated Press - Thursday, February 6, 2014

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) - The U.S. Geological Survey says it will be sending a low-flying helicopter over portions of eastern Missouri to survey the region’s geology.

The USGS says the helicopter will be surveying rock layers and mineral deposits under sections of Washington, Franklin and Crawford counties later this month. The helicopter will fly at altitudes of about 260 to 330 feet.

The survey is expected to lead to maps that will help USGS researchers understand the geology and concealed deposits of important iron-oxide, copper, cobalt, gold and rare earth elements. Larry Meinert, the agency’s mineral resources program administrator, says that southeast Missouri in particular is “a large mineral resource frontier.”

The survey will cover nearly 500 square miles and include the Pea Ridge, Kratz Spring and Bourbon iron-oxide deposits.

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