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USGS Report: U.S. Increasingly Dependent on Foreign Sources of Minerals

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 16, 2010 -

We wanted to make sure everyone saw this release today from the USGS detailing how U.S. mineral production declined by 20% in 2009 – with the estimated value dropping from $71 billion to $57.1 billion.

Minerals are vital to every facet of our economy and necessary for infrastructure, electronics, telecommunication and national security. This decline in production further damages our struggling economy and threatens the jobs of the quarter-of-a-million people work directly in America’s mining industry.

Equally alarming is that U.S. is growing even more dependent of foreign sources of minerals. According to the 2010 report, the United States is now 100% dependent on foreign countries for 19 nonfuel mineral commodities and more than 50% dependent on 38 nonfuel minerals.

It’s also interesting to note that the green energy jobs proposed by the President (including today’s announcement on nuclear energy) are very dependent on minerals:

  • Uranium (85%) is used to produce nuclear energy.
  • Silicon (27%) and titanium (73%) are used to produce solar panels.
  • Zinc (76%) is used to produce wind turbines.
  • Copper (24%) is used for produce hybrid vehicles.

(Numbers represent American dependence on foreign resources)

Contact: Committee Staff

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