The United States is the world's largest user of mineral resources. We use them to build our homes and cities, fertilize our food crops, and create wealth that allows us to buy goods and services. Individuals rarely use nonfuel mineral resources in their natural state - we buy light bulbs, not the silica, soda ash, lime, coal, salt, tungsten, copper, nickel, molybdenum, iron, manganese, aluminum, and zinc used to convert electricity into light.
The USGS Mineral Resources Program (MRP) is the sole Federal source of scientific information and unbiased research on nonfuel mineral potential, production, and consumption, as well as on the environmental effects of
minerals. The MRP also provides baseline geochemical, geophysical, and mineral-deposit data used to understand environmental issues related to extraction
and use of mineral resources. Understanding how minerals, water, plants, and organisms interact contributes to our understanding of the environment, which is essential for maintaining human and ecosystem health. To support creation
of economic and national security policies in a global context, MRP collects
and analyzes data on essential mineral commodities from around the world.