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Geo-Economic Evaluation of Global Critical Mineral Resources

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The Federal Government, under the guidance of the Office of Science Policy, is currently developing criteria for the designation of critical minerals. Objectives are: 1. Contribute unique USGS knowledge and expertise on critical mineral issues to the Federal effort to develop criteria for the designation of critical minerals. 2. Evaluate the ability of the global mining industry to replace critical mineral production capacity for critical minerals whose supply is dominated by China or other risky sources.

Contact: Keith Long, 520-670-5512, klong@usgs.gov

  chart showing net import reliance of nonfuel minerals in the US.   Sub-Tasks:

Subtask 2.1. Methods Development for Critical Mineral Designation

Subtask 2.2. Evaluation of Critical Minerals, Mainly Sources from China

Graph above, from USGS Fact Sheet 087-02, shows Global rare earth element production (1 kt=106 kg) from 1950 through 2000, in four categories: United States, almost entirely from Mountain Pass, California; China, from several deposits; all other countries combined, largely from monazite-bearing placers; and global total. Four periods of production are evident: the monazite-placer era, starting in the late 1800s and ending abruptly in 1964; the Mountain Pass era, starting in 1965 and ending about 1984; a transitional period from about 1984 to 1991; and the Chinese era, beginning about 1991.

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Last Modified: 18 January 2018