Each chapter of the 2008 edition of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Mineral Commodity Summaries (MCS) includes information on events, trends, and issues for each mineral commodity as well as discussions and tabular presentations on domestic industry structure, Government programs, tariffs, 5-year salient statistics, and world production and resources. The MCS is the earliest comprehensive source of 2007 mineral production data for the world. More than 90 individual minerals and materials are covered by two-page synopses.
National reserves and reserve base information for most mineral commodities found in this report, including those for the United States, are derived from a variety of sources. The ideal source of such information would be comprehensive evaluations that apply the same criteria to deposits in different geographic areas and report the results by country. In the absence of such evaluations, national reserves and reserve base estimates compiled by countries for selected mineral commodities are a primary source of national reserves and reserve base information. Lacking national assessment information by governments, sources such as academic articles, company reports, common business practice, presentations by company representatives, and trade journal articles, or a combination of these, serve as the basis for national reserves and reserve base information reported in the mineral commodity sections of this publication.
A national estimate may be assembled from the following: historically reported reserves and reserve base information carried for years without alteration because no new information is available; historically reported reserves and reserve base reduced by the amount of historical production; and company reported reserves. International minerals availability studies conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Mines, before 1996, and estimates of identified resources by an international collaborative effort (the International Strategic Minerals Inventory) are the basis for some reserves and reserve base estimates.
The USGS collects information about the quantity and quality of mineral resources but does not directly measure reserves, and companies or governments do not directly report reserves or reserve base to the USGS.
Reassessment of reserves and reserve base is a continuing process and the intensity of this process differs for mineral commodities, countries, and time period.
Abbreviations and units of measure, and definitions of selected terms used in the report, are in Appendix A and Appendix B, respectively. A resource/reserve classification for minerals, based on USGS Circular 831 (published with the U.S. Bureau of Mines) is Appendix C, and a directory of USGS minerals information country specialists and their responsibilities is Appendix D.
The USGS continually strives to improve the value of its publications to users. Constructive comments and suggestions by readers of the MCS 2008 are welcomed.