MINERAL SUPPLY CHAIN RISK METHODOLOGY

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Detailed Description

The United States is highly reliant on imports of many mineral commodities whose production is concentrated in a few countries. This poses a significant risk to the manufacturing sector that uses those mineral commodities. A new USGS report, “Evaluating the Mineral Commodity Supply Risk of the U.S. Manufacturing Sector,” identifies 23 mineral commodities that pose the greatest risk, including cobalt, tantalum, platinum-group metals, and rare earth elements. These and other mineral commodities are used in strategic applications including single-crystal turbine blades deployed near the combustion zone in jet engines.

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Turbine Blade

  • Cooling Air
  • Dovetail
  • Blade Platform
  • Leading Side (suction side)
  • Hot Gas
  • Trailing Side (pressure side)
  • Stator-rotor Seal

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Production of many mineral commodities is highly concentrated in a few countries.

Single-crystal turbine blades are composed of superalloys containing a number of mineral commodities including cobalt, chromium, rhenium, and tantalum which provide the physical and chemical properties that allow for improved design tolerances that increase thrust and enable higher operating temperatures to improve efficiency. They also are coated with yttria-stabilized zirconia and platinum-aluminide to improve thermal stability and extend the life of the blades.

 

Jet engine turbine blades: an engineering marvel

Re
Rhenium
Ta
Tantalum
Co
Cobalt
Pt
Platinum
Cr
Chromium
Y
Yttrium
ChileDemocratic
Republic of
the Congo (DRC)
Democratic
Republic of
the Congo (DRC)
South AfricaSouth AfricaChina
56% RHENIUM
production
from Chile.
39% TANTALUM
production from
Democratic Republic
of the Congo.
70% COBALT
production from
Democratic Republic
of the Congo.
72% PLATINUM
production from
South Africa.
41% CHROMIUM
production from
South Africa.
>95% YTTRIUM
production from
China.

(Illustration of jet plan with lines from turbine blades to elements to countries that produce elements)

 

Mineral Commodity Net Import Reliance

The United States is highly import reliant for a large and growing number of mineral commodities.

83% RELIANT FOR RHENIUM
100% RELIANTFOR TANTALUM
64% RELIANTFOR COBALT
74% RELIANTFOR PLANTINUM
73% RELIANTFOR CHROMIUM
100% RELIANTFOR YTTRIUM

 

Assessing Supply Risk

An enhanced methodology for assessing supply risk for the U.S. manufacturing sector has been developed. Supply risk is greatest when:

  • U.S. manufacturers rely on foreign sources.
  • Foreign supplies are likely to be disrupted.
  • The ability of U.S. manufacturers to withstand a disruption is limited.

 

USGS Mineral Supply Risk Methodology

www.usgs.gov/mineral-supply-risk

 

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Sources:

  1. The USGS delivers unbiased science and information to increase understanding of ore formation, undiscovered mineral resource potential, production, consumption, and how minerals interact with the environment. For more information, please visit www.usgs.gov.
  2. Nassar, N.T., Brainard, J., Gulley, A., Manley, R., Matos, G.R., Lederer, G., Bird, L.R., Pineault, D., Alonso, E., Gambogi, J., and Fortier, S.M., 2020, Evaluating the mineral commodity supply risk of the U.S. manufacturing sector: Science Advances, v. 6, p. eaay8647.
  3. U.S. Geological Survey, 2020, Mineral commodity summaries 2020: U.S. Geological Survey, 200 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ mcs2020.


U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey

Details

Image Dimensions: 1170 x 2906

Date Taken:

Location Taken: US

Source:

New Methodology Identifies Mineral Commodities Whose Supply Disruption Poses the Greatest Risk to the U.S. Manufacturing Sector
Risk tool identified 23 mineral commodities whose supply poses the greatest risk, including those used in consumer electronics, renewable energy, aerospace, and defense applications.