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How large is a lifetime supply of minerals for the average person?

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Welcome to CoreFacts, where we're always short on time and big on science. I'm Jessica Robertson. Today's question is...

How large is a lifetime supply of minerals for the average person?

At today's level of consumption, the average newborn infant will need a lifetime supply of approximately 800 pounds of lead, 750 pounds of zinc, 1,500 pounds of copper, over 3,500 pounds of aluminum, 32,700 pounds of iron, 26,550 pounds of clays, over 28,00 pounds of salt, and over 1 million pounds of stone, sand, gravel, and cement.

The USGS provides information on where these and other mineral commodities are produced and suspected to be on Earth. For more information on the USGS Mineral Resources Program, visit

And now you know. Join us again every weekday for a new CoreFact. For other CoreFacts, or for CoreCast, our in-depth science podcast, go to If you'd like to have a question featured on our show, give us an email at or a phone call at 703-648-5600. Remember, long distance fees do apply.

CoreFacts is a product of the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior.

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