Economics at your fingertips  

Assessment of critical minerals: updated application of an early-warning screening methodology

Erin McCullough () and Nedal T. Nassar
Additional contact information
Erin McCullough: National Mineral Information Center, U.S. Geological Survey
Nedal T. Nassar: National Mineral Information Center, U.S. Geological Survey

Mineral Economics, 2017, vol. 30, issue 3, No 6, 257-272

Abstract: Abstract Increasing reliance on non-renewable mineral resources reinforces the need for identifying potential supply constraints before they occur. The US National Science and Technology Council recently released a report that outlines a methodology for screening potentially critical minerals based on three indicators: supply risk (R), production growth (G), and market dynamics (M). This early-warning screening was initially applied to 78 minerals across the years 1996 to 2013 and identified a subset of minerals as “potentially critical” based on the geometric average of these indicators—designated as criticality potential (C). In this study, the screening methodology has been updated to include data for 2014, as well as to incorporate revisions and modifications to the data, where applicable. Overall, C declined in 2014 for the majority of minerals examined largely due to decreases in production concentration and price volatility. However, the results vary considerably across minerals, with some minerals, such as gallium, recording increases for all three indicators. In addition to assessing magnitudinal changes, this analysis also examines the significance of the change relative to historical variation for each mineral. For example, although mined nickel’s R declined modestly in 2014 in comparison to that of other minerals, it was by far the largest annual change recorded for mined nickel across all years examined and is attributable to Indonesia’s ban on the export of unprocessed minerals. Based on the 2014 results, 20 minerals with the highest C values have been identified for further study including the rare earths, gallium, germanium, rhodium, tantalum, and tungsten.

Keywords: Criticality potential; Risk analysis; Mineral supply chains; Production concentration; Price volatility (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q01 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) Abstract (text/html)
Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from

DOI: 10.1007/s13563-017-0119-6

Access Statistics for this article

Mineral Economics is currently edited by Magnus Ericsson and Patrik Söderholm

More articles in Mineral Economics from Springer, Raw Materials Group (RMG), Luleå University of Technology
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla ().

Page updated 2020-04-23
Handle: RePEc:spr:minecn:v:30:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s13563-017-0119-6