MEC Reveals Mining & Mineral Usage StatsMEC Reveals Mining & Mineral Usage Stats
Compiled by the Minerals Education Coalition (MEC), the 2023 Mineral Baby captures certain increases in mineral consumption.
September 26, 2023
The Minerals Education Coalition's (MEC) iconic Mineral Baby shows steady demand for natural resources supporting all aspects of human life.
Compiled by MEC, the 2023 Mineral Baby captures certain increases in mineral consumption including lithium, which is currently being used for the green energy transition due to its instrumental role in battery technology. Increases are also shown this year in key construction resources such as cement and iron ore.
The Mineral Baby details the estimated amount of minerals, metals, and fuels that an American born this year will use in their lifetime. In 2023, this amount is 3.07 million pounds. This is calculated with statistics from the National Mining Association and the US Geological Survey (USGS), along with life expectancy data from the US Census Bureau and the Center for Disease Control. These statistics need to represent an entire year and thus are using the completed statistics from the previous year.
The companion graphic, “MEC Minerals Needed Every Year,” explains that 40,209 pounds of new minerals must be provided for every person in the US each year to make the things we use daily.
“This one-of-a-kind visual aid serves to remind everyone about the sheer volume of resources required to maintain our modern way of life,” said David L. Kanagy, executive director and CEO, The Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration. “With increased awareness, we can continue to build a consensus around sustainable production and refinement of these critical metals and minerals.”
Governments worldwide continue to rely on the extraction and processing of natural resources to ensure a high standard of living for their citizens. In the United States, the mining and minerals industry is supporting major investments allocated by the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021. The law includes funding for major transportation, telecommunications and energy projects, all of which require significant quantities of mined materials to execute.
According to the 2023 US Geological Survey Mineral Commodity Summaries, “minerals remained fundamental to the US economy, contributing to the real gross domestic product at several levels, including mining, processing, and manufacturing finished products.” Per the data, in 2022, the estimated total value of nonfuel mineral production in the United States was $98.2 billion, an increase of 4% from the revised total of $94.6 billion in 2021.
Since 1995, the amount of minerals, metals, and fuels that an American born in the current year will need in their lifetime has been presented in the Mineral Baby iconic educational infographic. These statistics represent an entire year and thus utilize figures from the previous year.
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