present does not have sufficient authority and autonomy to appropriately carry out data collection, dissemination, and analysis. In particular, the committee concludes that USGS Minerals Information Team activities are less robust than they might be, in part because it does not have status as a “principal” statistical agency.
More complete information needs to be collected, and more research needs to be conducted, on the full mineral life cycle. The committee includes its specific recommendations in the following section. A common theme in these recommendations is the value of an investment in material flow accounting to better quantify stocks, flows, and uncertainty for primary, secondary, and tertiary resources.
Recognizing the dynamic nature of mineral supply and demand and of criticality, and in light of the conclusions above, the committee makes the following recommendations:
The federal government should enhance the types of data and information it collects, disseminates, and analyzes on minerals and mineral products, especially as these data and information relate to minerals and mineral products that are or may become critical.
In particular, more attention than at present needs to be given to those areas of the mineral life cycle that are underrepresented in current information-gathering activities, including: reserves and subeconomic resources; by-product and coproduct primary production; stocks and flows of secondary material available for recycling; in-use stocks; material flows; international trade, especially of metals and mineral products embodied in imported and exported products; and related information deemed appropriate and necessary. Enhanced mineral analysis should include periodic assessment of mineral criticality over a wider range of minerals and in