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National Minerals Information Center

Statistics and information on the worldwide supply of, demand for, and flow of minerals and materials essential to the U.S. economy, the national security, and protection of the environment.



USGS Records Nonfuel Mineral Production Jump of $3.6 Billion in 2022


The USGS Seeks Public Comment on Helium Supply Risk


USGS, Apple Develop New Metric to Better Understand Global Mining Impacts of Key Minerals and their Future Supply


Rare earth element sources, end-use demand trends, and hydrometallurgical separations

Rare earth elements are increasing in demand due to the movement towards electrification. In particular, there is a growing need for high performance rare earth permanent magnets for motors and generators used to convert electrical energy to mechanical energy, and vice versa. Current trends in rare earth demand are reviewed and discussed as the specific rare earth metal demand can influence the ch
James Vaughan, Vitor L. Gontijo, Rick Valenta, Elisa Alonso

China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and artisanal cobalt mining from 2000 through 2020

From 2000 through 2020, demand for cobalt to manufacture batteries grew 26-fold. Eighty-two percent of this growth occurred in China and China’s cobalt refinery production increased 78-fold. Diminished industrial cobalt mine production in the early-to-mid 2000s led many Chinese companies to purchase ores from artisanal cobalt miners in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), many of whom have
Andrew L. Gulley

Rock-to-metal ratios of the rare earth elements

The relative quantities of ore mined and waste rock (i.e., overburden) removed to produce the rare earth elements—their rock-to-metal ratios—were calculated for 21 individual operations or regions covering nearly all mine production in 2018. The results indicate that the rock-to-metal ratios for the total rare earth elements ranged from a low of 1.6 × 101 to a high of 3.6 × 103, with operations in
Nedal T. Nassar, Graham W. Lederer, Abraham De Jesus Padilla, Joseph Gambogi, Daniel James Cordier, Jaime L. Brainard, Joseph D. Lessard, Ryan Charab