2011 GSA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis (912 October 2011)
Paper No. 124-3
Presentation Time: 2:05 PM-2:25 PM

CRITICAL MINERALS FOR THE 21st CENTURY - A STRATEGY FOR SUPPLY SUSTAINABILITY

MCNUTT, Marcia, DOI--U.S. Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Dr, Mailstop 100, Reston, VA 20192, mcnutt@usgs.gov

As the Nation's lead natural resources science agency, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is responsible for providing objective information to guide policy makers on wise and sustainable use of those resources. Since the establishment of the Organic Act of 1879, the USGS has conducted research on and assessment of non-fuel and fuel mineral resources of the Nation, and beyond. The definition of "a critical mineral or material” is extremely time dependent, as advances in materials science yield new products and the adoption of new technologies result in shifts in both supply and demand. Furthermore, the relative provision of our resources from domestic versus international sources is broadly shaped by economic and political, as well as geologic, factors. For these and other reasons, the Federal Government has provided essential domestic and international supply and demand information and analysis for as many as 100 non-fuel mineral commodities since the mid-19th century. Early efforts by the Treasury Department started in 1866 and were followed by the USGS Mining Statistics Division in 1880. The function was moved to the U.S. Bureau of Mines (Commerce Department) in 1925, returned to DOI with the USBM in 1934, and returned to the USGS in 1996. Currently there is significant concern over supply risk for rare earth elements. Deposits of rare earth elements and other critical minerals occur throughout the Nation, including on Federal land. DOI supports the development of these resources in an environmentally responsible manner in order to mitigate supply disruptions. USGS provides mineral resource assessments, earth and life science data for developing environmentally acceptable plans for extraction, and supply and demand information needed to understand future materials use.

2011 GSA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis (912 October 2011)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 124
Rare Earth Elements and Critical Minerals for a Sustainable and Secure Future
Minneapolis Convention Center: Room 101A-C
1:30 PM-5:30 PM, Monday, 10 October 2011

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 43, No. 5, p. 317

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