The Importance of Critical Minerals in Our Everyday Lives


WASHINGTON, D.C., May 23, 2011 - The Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a hearing tomorrow to examine our domestic supplies of strategic and critical minerals and the growing need to develop our own resources to improve national security and further our energy independence. Critical and strategic minerals are fundamental components of technologies and everyday items ranging from cell phones, building materials and motor vehicles to personal hygiene products.

“The United States is heavily reliant on foreign countries such as China for critical minerals that are the building blocks of our economy and imperative to renewable energy development, military technology and the manufacturing of nearly all of our electronic devices. This hearing is an important first step towards reinvigorating America’s domestic mining industry in order to increase our national, economic and energy security,” said Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04).

Minerals in Our Everyday Lives

Over 66 individual minerals are used to make the typical computer, including silver, aluminum, copper and gold.
Four rare earth minerals are required to make a hybrid vehicle: dysprosium, lanthanum, neodymium and praseodymium.
Energy-efficient light bulbs use europium, terbium and yttrium.
iPods require five rare earth minerals: dysprosium, neodymium, praseodymium, samarium and terbium.
Deodorant contains aluminum and the container is made of petroleum products.
A clock includes iron, nickel, petroleum products and silica.
Lipstick and makeup include clay, mica, talc, limestone and petroleum products.
Mail boxes are made of copper and zinc, which make brass.
Pens are made out of limestone, mica, petroleum products, clays, silica and talc.
Toilets are made of clays, silica, copper, zinc, petroleum products and borates.

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Contact: Jill Strait, Spencer Pederson or Crystal Feldman 202-226-9019

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