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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. 

Filter Total Items: 562

Tellurium

Tellurium (Te) is a very rare element that averages only 3 parts per billion in Earth’s upper crust. It shows a close association with gold and may be present in orebodies of most gold deposit types at levels of tens to hundreds of parts per million. In large-tonnage mineral deposits, such as porphyry copper and seafloor volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits, sulfide minerals may contain hundreds

Germanium and indium

Germanium and indium are two important elements used in electronics devices, flat-panel display screens, light-emitting diodes, night vision devices, optical fiber, optical lens systems, and solar power arrays. Germanium and indium are treated together in this chapter because they have similar technological uses and because both are recovered as byproducts, mainly from copper and zinc sulfides.The

Critical mineral resources of the United States—An introduction

Many changes have taken place in the mineral resource sector since the publication by the U.S. Geological Survey of Professional Paper 820, “United States Mineral Resources,” which is a review of the long-term United States resource position for 65 mineral commodities or commodity groups. For example, since 1973, the United States has continued to become increasingly dependent on imports to meet i

Antimony

Antimony is an important mineral commodity used widely in modern industrialized societies. The element imparts strength, hardness, and corrosion resistance to alloys that are used in many areas of industry, including in lead-acid storage batteries. Antimony’s leading use is as a fire retardant in safety equipment and in household goods, such as mattresses. The U.S. Government has considered antimo

Cobalt

Cobalt is a silvery gray metal that has diverse uses based on certain key properties, including ferromagnetism, hardness and wear-resistance when alloyed with other metals, low thermal and electrical conductivity, high melting point, multiple valences, and production of intense blue colors when combined with silica. Cobalt is used mostly in cathodes in rechargeable batteries and in superalloys for

Vanadium

Vanadium is used primarily in the production of steel alloys; as a catalyst for the chemical industry; in the making of ceramics, glasses, and pigments; and in vanadium redox-flow batteries (VRBs) for large-scale storage of electricity. World vanadium resources in 2012 were estimated to be 63 million metric tons, which include about 14 million metric tons of reserves. The majority of the vanadium

Critical mineral resources of the United States—Economic and environmental geology and prospects for future supply

SummaryMineral commodities are vital for economic growth, improving the quality of life, providing for national defense, and the overall functioning of modern society. Minerals are being used in larger quantities than ever before and in an increasingly diverse range of applications. With the increasing demand for a considerably more diverse suite of mineral commodities has come renewed recognition

Rare-earth elements

The rare-earth elements (REEs) are 15 elements that range in atomic number from 57 (lanthanum) to 71 (lutetium); they are commonly referred to as the “lanthanides.” Yttrium (atomic number 39) is also commonly regarded as an REE because it shares chemical and physical similarities and has affinities with the lanthanides. Although REEs are not rare in terms of average crustal abundance, the concentr

Manganese

Manganese is an essential element for modern industrial societies. Its principal use is in steelmaking, where it serves as a purifying agent in iron-ore refining and as an alloy that converts iron into steel. Although the amount of manganese consumed to make a ton of steel is small, ranging from 6 to 9 kilograms, it is an irreplaceable component in the production of this fundamental material. The

Gallium

Gallium is a soft, silvery metallic element with an atomic number of 31 and the chemical symbol Ga. Gallium is used in a wide variety of products that have microelectronic components containing either gallium arsenide (GaAs) or gallium nitride (GaN). GaAs is able to change electricity directly into laser light and is used in the manufacture of optoelectronic devices (laser diodes, light-emitting d

Titanium

Titanium is a mineral commodity that is essential to the smooth functioning of modern industrial economies. Most of the titanium produced is refined into titanium dioxide, which has a high refractive index and is thus able to impart a durable white color to paint, paper, plastic, rubber, and wallboard. Because of their high strength-to-weight ratio and corrosion resistance, titanium metal and tita

Beryllium

Beryllium is a mineral commodity that is used in a variety of industries to make products that are essential for the smooth functioning of a modern society. Two minerals, bertrandite (which is supplied domestically) and beryl (which is currently supplied solely by imports), are necessary to ensure a stable supply of high-purity beryllium metal, alloys, and metal-matrix composites and beryllium oxi