— January 8, 2018
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently released a professional paper on critical mineral resources in the U.S.
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., http://doi.org/10.3133/pp1802
A database release accompanies this report that presents the global distribution of these commodities in GIS format: https://www.sciencebase.gov/catalog/item/594d3c8ee4b062508e39b332
Critical minerals are mineral resources that are essential to our economy and whose supply may be disrupted; many critical minerals are 100% imported into the U.S. The USGS publication and database presents resource and geologic information on 23 mineral commodities that are considered important to the national economy and national security of the U.S.: antimony (Sb), barite (barium, Ba), beryllium (Be), cobalt (Co), fluorite or fluorspar (fluorine, F), gallium (Ga), germanium (Ge), graphite (carbon, C), hafnium (Hf), indium (In), lithium (Li), manganese (Mn), niobium (Nb), platinum-group elements (PGE), rare-earth elements (REE), rhenium (Re), selenium (Se), tantalum (Ta), tellurium (Te), tin (Sn), titanium (Ti), vanadium (V), and zirconium (Zr).
Many of these commodities are found in New Mexico. Barite, beryllium, fluorine, graphite, lithium, manganese, niobium, REE, rhenium, tantalum, tellurium, tin, and vanadium have been produced from New Mexico in the past and could have future potential in the state. Other commodities may have future potential in New Mexico, like antimony, gallium, hafnium, indium, selenium, titanium, and zirconium.
The global demand for all mineral commodities is at an all-time high and is expected to continue to increase as world population grows and demands better homes, transportation, energy, medical technologies, and other products like computers, cell phones, batteries, light bulbs, etc. This publication and database is the first step in understanding the distribution and importance of these critical commodities!