The Minerals Education Coalition (MEC) of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME) released the iconic “Minerals Baby” for 2016 that reflects an increase of more than 15,000 lb. per capita usage when compared with the previous year’s statistics. 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.
Every American born will need 1.31 million lb. of stone, sand and gravel, according to the new calculations.
“This graphic and the message it conveys are used by a variety of audiences, from educators in K-12 classrooms, to congressional committees when considering legislative changes to policies that affect our mineral needs,” said SME Executive Director 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 lives, our lifestyles and our standard of living. Our cars, roads and homes all started with mined materials.”
The Minerals Baby emphasizes the dependence that every American has on the mining industry. According to the U.S. Geological Survey Mineral Commodity Summaries 2016, minerals remained fundamental to the U.S. economy, contributing to the real gross domestic product at several levels, including mining, processing and manufacturing finished products.
Using information 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 used per capita in 2015 as 39,660. With the average life expectancy of 78.8 years, the average American will need 3.125 million lb. of resources to provide the products and materials they will depend upon in their lifetime.