No country in the world produces all of the mineral resources necessary for modern society. International trade plays a critical role in providing these raw materials, forming a global network of production, export, import, and use. This network must continuously adapt to national and international developments in science, technology, politics, and economics. As a result, information on the global flow of raw materials plays a fundamental role in improving national and international resilience to potential supply disruptions and market changes.
Each chapter of the 2018 edition of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Mineral Commodity Summaries (MCS) includes information on events, trends, and issues for each mineral commodity as well as discussions and tabular presentations on domestic industry structure, Government programs, tariffs, 5-year salient statistics, and world production and resources. The MCS is the earliest comprehensive source of 2017 mineral production data for the world. More than 90 individual minerals and materials are covered by two-page synopses.
In 2017, the estimated value of total nonfuel mineral production in the United States was $75.2 billion, a 6% increase from the revised total of $70.8 billion in 2016. The estimated value of metals production increased 12% to $26.3 billion. Higher prices contributed to some metal commodity values increasing more than 35% (cobalt, magnesium metal, and palladium). Despite this increase, some U.S. metal mines and processing facilities remained idle in 2017, including three primary aluminum smelters in Indiana, Missouri, and Washington; a titanium sponge facility in Utah; and a byproduct vanadium production facility in Utah. However, new gold mines opened in late 2016 and 2017 in Nevada and South Carolina, respectively, and iron ore mines in Michigan and Minnesota restarted or operated for the full year. The total value of industrial minerals production was $48.9 billion, a 3% increase from that of 2016. Of this total, $23 billion was aggregates production (construction sand and gravel and crushed stone). Increased oil and natural gas drilling activity resulted in increased production of some industrial mineral commodities. Limited growth in construction activity resulted in the production of some industrial minerals, especially those used in infrastructure and residential construction, to remain essentially unchanged in 2017.
Geoscience information is integral to the strength and growth of communities and provides the resources for economic growth. All building materials, energy resources, construction projects, and hazard mitigation efforts are fundamentally based on geoscientific data and the geoscience workforce.
The industrial materials and minerals used to construct buildings/infrastructure
The importance of readily available construction materials and the resulting demand for mines and quarries throughout the U.S.
How geoscience is used to determine whether or not sites are suitable for infrastructure development
How geoscience is used to help guide design and construction to enhance the quality of life, economic strength, and physical security of coastal areas
Webinar Co-sponsors: American Association of Petroleum Geologists; American Geophysical Union; Consortium for Ocean Leadership; Geological Society of America; National Ground Water Association; National Science Foundation; Soil Science Society of America
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources provides an interactive map of industrial mineral mines (stone, aggregates, and clay) in the state. By clicking on individual sites or areas, users can find a variety of information, including:
Pyrite and pyrrhotite are minerals known as iron sulfides. When iron sulfides are exposed to water and oxygen, a series of chemical reactions breaks down the iron sulfides and forms new minerals called sulfates. These sulfates take up more space than the original iron sulfides. As they grow, the new sulfate minerals push against the surrounding rock, causing it to swell and crack. This causes damage in two main ways:
The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources provides an interactive map of over 6,000 sand, gravel, and construction aggregate mining operations in South Dakota.
The map shows reclaimed (green) and active (red) mines. Users can click on individual sites to find detailed information, including location, operator, material mined, mining dates, total area mined and reclaimed, and links to photographs.