9 hours ago
Minerals are the building blocks of our future.
The technologies that define innovation today all depend on minerals — from lifesaving medical devices to hybrid cars and advanced energy technologies.
The unique properties of minerals make them essential, even irreplaceable components of modern inventions. Demand for minerals will increase with world population growth and as developing countries embrace new technologies and erect new infrastructure.
Demand for copper, which is used in electrical wiring, electronics and other industrial and household applications, will match GDP growth. Demand for molybdenum and iron ore, both used predominantly in steel production, will outpace GDP growth at 5.6 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively. And, as hybrid vehicles become more widespread, auto executives estimate the demand for lithium—integral in the production of hybrid batteries—could outpace supply in as soon as 10 years.
With such demand projected, the United States' ability to innovate and meet our growing mineral needs will depend on sensible policies that encourage the development of domestic resources.