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Critical Mineral Resources for the 21st Century

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Project tasks

This project will address mineral resource and supply issues for less-common critical minerals, particularly those that are of increasing importance to the national economy on account of their use in emerging technologies.
   Key targets for research are gaps in understanding of the nature and formation of economic deposits of these minerals and the implications of deposit-type characteristics for economic and environmentally sound extraction and use of these minerals.
The following minerals of interest have been identified to date:

rare earth elements, lithium, indium, tellurium, gallium, niobium, tantalum, rhenium, and PGEs.

Project Management Contacts: Klaus Schulz, 703-648-6320, kschulz@usgs.gov
and Dwight Bradley, 907-786-7434, dbradley@usgs.gov

  chart showing net import reliance of nonfuel minerals in the US.

Net Import Reliance chart from USGS Report Mineral Commodity Summaries 2012.


Project Tasks:

(Task 1: Project Management)

2. Geo-Economic Evaluation of Global Critical Mineral Resources

3. Inventory and Evaluation of Global and Domestic Rare Earth Element Mineral Resources

4. Inventory and Evaluation of Domestic and Global Lithium Resources

5. Inventory and Evaluation of Domestic and Global Byproduct Critical Mineral Resources

6. Investigations of Unconventional and Emerging Critical Mineral Resources

7. Pathways and Biogeochemical Behavior of Critical and Associated Metals

8. Evaluation of Mine Tailings for Critical Mineral Contents

9. Spectroscopic Remote Sensing of Critical Mineral Resources

10. Tectonics and metallogenesis of critical mineral resources


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Last Modified: 18 January 2018