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A broad range of existing and emerging technologies are generating unprecedented demand for less-common commodities, such as
These technologies range from new alternative energy sources to seemingly mundane routine uses. For a variety of reasons, supplies of these elements tend to lag significantly behind demand. One of the principal causes of this lag is the limited amount of exploration done in the last few decades for new sources of many critical minerals. To help ensure an adequate supply of these commodities requires answers to these questions:
USGS Professional Paper 1802 provides updates, for selected critical mineral commodities, of:
The final product is an update of the 1973 U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 820 United States Mineral Resources. The 1973 report presents a synthesis of the state of knowledge of the geology of both major and minor mineral commodities (major metals and industrial minerals as well as a number of commodities of lesser importance at that time) along with an appraisal of the known resources, and an examination of the geologic possibilities for finding additional deposits. Since this report was published, considerable advancements have been made concerning the geology of mineral deposits. In addition, several commodities considered of minor importance in 1973 have today become critical to the national economy and security. The revised professional paper provides updated information to inform government and the public on the status of critical mineral resource commodities in the United States in a global context.
Schulz, K.J., DeYoung, J.H., Jr., Seal, R.R., II, and Bradley, D.C., eds., 2017, Critical mineral resources of the United States—Economic and environmental geology and prospects for future supply: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1802, 797 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/pp1802.
Labay, Keith, Burger, M.H., Bellora, J.D., Schulz, K.J., DeYoung, J.H., Jr., Seal, R.R., II, Bradley, D.C., Mauk, J.L., and San Juan, C.A., 2017, Global Distribution of Selected Mines, Deposits, and Districts of Critical Minerals: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/F7GH9GQR.
Fact sheets on various mineral commodities have been published. View the list of published fact sheets.
Eastern Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center