The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) provides information to the public and to policy-makers concerning the current use and flow of minerals and materials in the United States economy. The USGS collects, analyzes, and disseminates minerals information on most nonfuel mineral commodities.
This USGS digital database is an online compilation of historical U.S. statistics on mineral and material commodities. The database contains information on approximately 90 mineral commodities, including production, imports, exports, and stocks; reported and apparent consumption; and unit value (the real and nominal price in U.S. dollars of a metric ton of apparent consumption). For many of the commodities, data are reported as far back as 1900. Each commodity file includes a document that describes the units of measure, defines terms, and lists USGS contacts for additional information.
End-use tables complement these statistics by supplying, for most of these commodities, information about the distribution of apparent consumption.
This publication draws on more than 125 years of minerals information experience. At the request of the 47th Congress of the United States (1882; 22 Stat. 329), the U.S. Government began the collection and public distribution of these types of data. The Federal agencies responsible for the collection of the data have changed through time. For the years 1882-1924, the USGS collected and published these data; the U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) performed these tasks from 1925-95; and in 1996, the responsibilities once again passed to the USGS (following the closure of the USBM) (Mlynarski, 1998).
The USGS collects data on a monthly, quarterly, semiannual, and annual basis from more than 18,000 minerals-related producer and consumer establishments that cooperate with the USGS. These companies voluntarily complete about 40,000 canvass forms that survey production, consumption, recycling, stocks, shipments, and other essential information. Data are also gathered from site visits, memberships on domestic and international minerals-related committees, and coordination with other government organizations and trade associations.
The USGS makes this information available through published products, including monthly, quarterly, and annual Mineral Industry Surveys, the annual Minerals Yearbook (MYB), the annual Mineral Commodity Summaries (MCS), and special mineral commodity studies, including the history of metal prices and materials flow studies.