Global Trends in Mineral Commodities for Advanced Technologies
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The U.S. Geological Survey National Minerals Information Center (NMIC) is the U.S. Government agency tasked with the collection, analysis, and dissemination of information on the production, consumption, import, export, and other measures of the flows of non-fuel mineral commodities of importance to the U.S. economy and national security. The NMIC and its agency predecessors have maintained a database of this information, collected and published annually, dating back to the beginning of the twentieth century. Time series analysis of annual information from the NMIC provides the opportunity to identify trends in the supply chains of the minerals and metals which are increasingly in demand for advanced technologies. The identification of trends in data for net import reliance, country concentration of production, global demand, price volatility, and other measures, when combined with world governance indicators, can be used to focus attention on individual mineral commodities where supply chain restrictions may develop. Specific examples for U.S. net import reliance, global tantalum primary mining, and mineral criticality screening are presented to illustrate the utility of time series analysis of trends in mineral commodity supply and demand, the types of data required, and the limitations of currently available information.
KeywordsSupply risk Import reliance Conflict minerals Mineral criticality
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