Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Evaluating the mineral commodity supply risk of the U.S. manufacturing sector

February 21, 2020

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 assessing the supply risk to the U.S. manufacturing sector. Specifically, supply risk is defined as the confluence of three factors: the likelihood of a foreign supply disruption, the dependency of U.S. manufacturers on foreign supplies, and the ability of U.S. manufacturers to withstand a supply disruption. The methodology is applied to 52 commodities for the decade spanning 2007-2016. The results indicate that a subset of 23 commodities, including cobalt, niobium, rare earth elements, and tungsten, pose the greatest supply risk. Importantly, this supply risk is dynamic, shifting with changes in global market conditions.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2020
Title Evaluating the mineral commodity supply risk of the U.S. manufacturing sector
DOI 10.1126/sciadv.aay8647
Authors Nedal T. Nassar, Jamie Brainard, Andrew L. Gulley, Ross Manley, Grecia R. Matos, Graham W. Lederer, Laurence Bird, David G. Pineault, Elisa Alonso, Joseph Gambogi, Steven M. Fortier
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Science Advances
Index ID 70208881
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization National Minerals Information Center