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Get The Facts About Innovation
Minerals are integral components of the next-generation technologies that make American companies world leaders in innovation.
Minerals in Advanced Technology
- A single wind turbine can contain 335 tons of steel, 4.7 tons of copper, 3 tons of aluminum and 700-plus pounds of rare earth minerals, as well as zinc, molybdenum and concretei.
- Solar energy technology relies on a range of minerals including silver, copper, gallium, tellurium and rare earth minerals.
- CAT scans contain a variety of minerals, including tungsten, copper, lead, silver, chlorine, aluminum and gold.
- Platinum is used in advanced electronics, fuel cells and in pollution control devices for cars.
Growing Demand for Minerals
- As the world's population grows and developing countries embrace new technologies, products relying on greater combinations of minerals will come to market, further increasing demand for minerals.
- Global sales of hybrid cars are expected to increase from 2.2 percent of sales in 2010 to 7.3 percent in 2020ii, and auto executives estimate the demand for lithium-key to high-performance batteries-could outpace supply in as little as 10 yearsiii.
- Over the next five years, worldwide demand for copper will match global GDP growth at roughly 4 percent and demand for aluminum will grow twice as fast as the global GDPiv.
Minerals for the Future
Policies that bolster domestic minerals mining can help establish a stable supply chain of the materials that are fundamental to American innovation.
i Vestas Wind Systems
ii J.D. Power and Associates, "Drive Green 2020:More Hope than Reality"
iii Time, "For Lithium Car Batteries, Bolivia is in the Driver's Seat"
iv McKinsey & Company Basic Materials Institute, Commodity Perspectives