The Center conducts analyses of and develops information on minerals-related issues, including minerals conservation, sustainability, availability, materials flow, and the economic health of the U.S. minerals industry.
The transition towards renewable energy requires increasing quantities of nonfuel mineral commodities, including tellurium used in certain photovoltaics. While demand for tellurium may increase markedly, the potential to increase tellurium supply is not well-understood. In this analysis, we estimate the quantity of tellurium contained in anode slimes generated by electrolytic copper refining by co
In 2021, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) continued to play a central role in understanding and anticipating potential supply chain disruptions by defining and quantitatively evaluating mineral criticality. In addition, the USGS continued to evaluate new sources of domestic critical minerals by conducting mineral resource assessments, mapping and surveying regions prospective for critical minera
The quantity of ore mined and waste rock (i.e., overburden or barren rock) removed to produce a refined unit of a mineral commodity, its rock-to-metal ratio (RMR), is an important metric for understanding mine wastes and environmental burdens. In this analysis, we provide a comprehensive examination of RMRs for 25 commodities for 2018. The results indicate significant variability across commoditie
Increasing demand for nonfuel mineral commodities has increased concerns regarding the reliability of their supplies. “Criticality” assessments over the past decade have attempted to capture this concern through a set of indicators, the most common of which quantifies the risk associated with market concentration by applying the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) to the world production of a given c
IntroductionEach mineral commodity chapter of the 2022 edition of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Mineral Commodity Summaries (MCS) includes information on events, trends, and issues for each mineral commodity as well as discussions and tabular presentations on domestic industry structure, Government programs, tariffs, 5-year salient statistics, and world production, reserves, and resources. The
Pursuant to Section 7002 (“Mineral Security”) of Title VII (“Critical Minerals”) of the Energy Act of 2020 (Public Law 116–260, December 27, 2020, 116th Cong.), the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey, is tasked with reviewing and revising the methodology used to evaluate mineral criticality and the U.S. Critical Minerals List no less than every 3 y
Concerns about the lack of domestic production and availability of essential mineral raw materials were a recurring theme throughout the 20th century, particularly in the periods around armed conflicts (Congressional Research Service, 2019). These concerns resulted in the designation of particular minerals as “strategic” or “critical,” terms that commonly depend on the perspective of the user, but
IntroductionEach mineral commodity chapter of the 2021 edition of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Mineral Commodity Summaries (MCS) includes information on events, trends, and issues for each mineral commodity as well as discussions and tabular presentations on domestic industry structure, Government programs, tariffs, 5-year salient statistics, and world production and resources. The MCS is the
Over the past few decades (1990–2019), the United States has become reliant on foreign sources to meet domestic demand for a large and growing number of mineral commodities. In combination with recent trends towards progressively concentrated supply of mineral commodities from a limited number of countries, this heightened import reliance may increase the risk to the United States economy and nati
Modern technology makes use of numerous mineral commodities whose production is concentrated in a few countries. New research identifies the commodities whose supply disruption poses the greatest risk to the manufacturing sector. While the analysis is applied to the U.S. manufacturing sector, the principles are equally applicable to other economies heavily reliant on imported mineral materials.
The utilization, preservation, and conservation of the Nation’s resources requires well-informed management decisions. The North Atlantic and Appalachian Region (NAAR) of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) supports science-based decision making for Federal, State, and local policymakers to meet the challenges of today and into the future. The science centers in the NAAR have well-deserved reputatio
Trade tensions, resource nationalism, and various other factors are increasing concerns regarding the supply reliability of nonfuel mineral commodities. This is especially the case for commodities required for new and emerging technologies ranging from electric vehicles to wind turbines. In this analysis, we utilize a conventional risk-modeling framework to develop and apply a new methodology for