|MadSci Network: Earth Sciences|
Here is an answer I got from Mr. Dick Gibson, a geologist with the World Museum of Mining in Butte, Montana. http://www.miningmuseum.org A good question. The way I attacked it was to first look up US consumption of minerals per capita, which should be an approximation of world production. There are lots of tables that show such info -- one is at: http://pbisotopes.ess.sunysb.edu/classes/oldclasses/cei542/notes/energy_4_ 21_98.htm The greatest tonnage of non-fuel minerals used (US only) is, in order from most to least: Crushed Stone, Sand & Gravel, Salt, Gypsum, Phosphate, Potash, Iron Ore, Aluminum, Zinc, Lead, and Copper. Focusing on the metals alone, I checked the US Geological Survey's Minerals Yearbook (it is online somewhere, I used the CD that I have which is up to date as of 2000). That gave me the following world production for those five metals. Note that there are always differing ways of looking at things, e.g., production at the mine vs production at the smelter or at the refinery, and Iron is usually reported as pig iron and raw steel. Anyway, here is the info: Worldwide metal production for 2000: Iron: Pig iron - 541,000,000 metric tons Iron: raw steel - 781,000,000 metric tons Aluminum - 24,000,000 metric tons Copper (mine) - 13,200,000 metric tons Zinc (mine) - 8,730,000 metric tons Lead (mine) - 3,100,000 metric tons. Hope this helps - dick gibson
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