Critical mineral resources of the United States—Economic and environmental geology and prospects for future supply

Professional Paper 1802
Edited by: Klaus J. SchulzJohn H. DeYoung, Jr.Robert R. Seal II, and Dwight C. Bradley



Mineral commodities are vital for economic growth, improving the quality of life, providing for national defense, and the overall functioning of modern society. Minerals are being used in larger quantities than ever before and in an increasingly diverse range of applications. With the increasing demand for a considerably more diverse suite of mineral commodities has come renewed recognition that competition and conflict over mineral resources can pose significant risks to the manufacturing industries that depend on them. In addition, production of many mineral commodities has become concentrated in relatively few countries (for example, tungsten, rare-earth elements, and antimony in China; niobium in Brazil; and platinum-group elements in South Africa and Russia), thus increasing the risk for supply disruption owing to political, social, or other factors. At the same time, an increasing awareness of and sensitivity to potential environmental and health issues caused by the mining and processing of many mineral commodities may place additional restrictions on mineral supplies. These factors have led a number of Governments, including the Government of the United States, to attempt to identify those mineral commodities that are viewed as most “critical” to the national economy and (or) security if supplies should be curtailed.

This book presents resource and geologic information on the following 23 mineral commodities currently among those viewed as important to the national economy and national security of the United States: 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). For a number of these commodities—for example, graphite, manganese, niobium, and tantalum—the United States is currently wholly dependent on imports to meet its needs. The first two chapters (A and B) deal with general information pertinent to the study of mineral resources. Chapters C through V describe individual mineral commodities and include an overview of current uses of the commodity, identified resources and their distribution nationally and globally, the state of current geologic knowledge, the potential for finding additional deposits nationally and globally, and geoenvironmental issues that may be related to the production and uses of the commodity. These chapters are updates of the commodity chapters published in 1973 in U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 820, “United States Mineral Resources.”

Suggested Citation

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.,

ISSN: 2330-7102 (online)

ISSN: 1044-9612 (print)

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Chapter A. Critical Mineral Resources of the United States—An Introduction
          By Klaus J. Schulz, John H. DeYoung, Jr., Dwight C. Bradley, and Robert R. Seal II
  • Chapter B. Environmental Considerations Related to Mining of Nonfuel Minerals
          By Robert R. Seal II, Nadine M. Piatak, Bryn E. Kimball, and Jane M. Hammarstrom
  • Chapter C. Antimony
          By Robert R. Seal II, Klaus J. Schulz, and John H. DeYoung, Jr.
          With contributions from David M. Sutphin, Lawrence J. Drew, James F. Carlin, Jr., and Byron R. Berger
  • Chapter D. Barite (Barium)
          By Craig A. Johnson, Nadine M. Piatak, and M. Michael Miller
  • Chapter E. Beryllium
         By Nora K. Foley, Brian W. Jaskula, Nadine M. Piatak, and Ruth F. Schulte
  • Chapter F. Cobalt
          By John F. Slack, Bryn E. Kimball, and Kim B. Shedd
  • Chapter G. Fluorine
          By Timothy S. Hayes, M. Michael Miller, Greta J. Orris, and Nadine M. Piatak
  • Chapter H. Gallium
          By Nora K. Foley, Brian W. Jaskula, Bryn E. Kimball, and Ruth F. Schulte
  • Chapter I. Germanium and Indium
          By W.C. Pat Shanks III, Bryn E. Kimball, Amy C. Tolcin, and David E. Guberman
  • Chapter J. Graphite
          By Gilpin R. Robinson, Jr., Jane M. Hammarstrom, and Donald W. Olson
  • Chapter K. Lithium
          By Dwight C. Bradley, Lisa L. Stillings, Brian W. Jaskula, LeeAnn Munk, and Andrew D. McCauley
  • Chapter L. Manganese
          By William F. Cannon, Bryn E. Kimball, and Lisa A. Corathers
  • Chapter M. Niobium and Tantalum
          By Klaus J. Schulz, Nadine M. Piatak, and John F. Papp
  • Chapter N. Platinum-Group Elements
          By Michael L. Zientek, Patricia J. Loferski, Heather L. Parks, Ruth F. Schulte, and Robert R. Seal II
  • Chapter O. Rare-Earth Elements
          By Bradley S. Van Gosen, Philip L. Verplanck, Robert R. Seal II, Keith R. Long, and Joseph Gambogi
  • Chapter P. Rhenium
          David A. John, Robert R. Seal II, and Désirée E. Polyak
  • Chapter Q. Selenium
          By Lisa L. Stillings
  • Chapter R. Tellurium
          By Richard J. Goldfarb, Byron R. Berger, Micheal W. George, and Robert R. Seal II
  • Chapter S. Tin
          By Robert J. Kamilli, Bryn E. Kimball, and James F. Carlin, Jr.
  • Chapter T. Titanium
          By Laurel G. Woodruff, George M. Bedinger, and Nadine M. Piatak
  • Chapter U. Vanadium
          By Karen D. Kelley, Clinton T. Scott, Désirée E. Polyak, and Bryn E. Kimball
  • Chapter V. Zirconium and Hafnium
          By James V. Jones III, Nadine M. Piatak, and George M. Bedinger
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Critical mineral resources of the United States—Economic and environmental geology and prospects for future supply
Series title Professional Paper
Series number 1802
ISBN 978-1-4113-3991-0
DOI 10.3133/pp1802
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Eastern Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center
Description Report: 862 p.; Data Release
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details