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Americans will need more than three million pounds of minerals in their lifetime

The 2020 Mineral Baby.
The 2020 Mineral Baby.

The Minerals Education Coalition (MEC) of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME) has released the iconic "Mineral Baby" graphic for 2020. MEC annually calculates the amount of minerals and energy fuels that are consumed in the average lifetime of an American born in the current year.

"This graphic and the message it conveys are used by a variety of audiences, from educators, to data trend analysts, to legislative committees considering changes to policies that affect our mineral needs," said SME Executive Director and CEO David L. Kanagy. "The value of this visual is that it reminds all of us of the important role that the production of minerals and energy have in our daily lives, our lifestyles and our high standard of living. Our cars, roads and homes all started with and depend upon mined materials."

The Mineral Baby graphic emphasizes the dependence that every American has on the mining and minerals industry. According to the 2020 U.S. Geological Survey Mineral Commodity Summaries, "Minerals play an integral part in all aspects of our lives." 

Using information for the previous year provided by USGS, the National Mining Association, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the U.S. Census Bureau and other sources, MEC calculated the annual pounds of mined resources Americans used per capita as 40,633. With the average life expectancy of 78.6 years, the average American will need 3.19 million pounds of resources to provide the products and materials they will depend upon in their lifetime.

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