Published On: 11/24/2015

Americans consume 3 million pounds of minerals in their lifetime

Each year, SME’s Minerals Education Coalition’s (MEC) iconic “Minerals Baby” reminds all of us of the importance of minerals in our lives and lifestyles. This year’s statistics reflect an increase of mined materials needed to provide for the average American born in 2012 with an expected lifespan of 78.8 years when compared with the previous year.

“The value of producing this annual, easy-to-read visual is that it is used by a variety of non-technical audiences, from K-12 teachers when presenting their lessons to school children, to Congressional committees when referencing the need for legislative changes to federal policies providing for needs from basic living to our national defense,” said SME Executive Director David L. Kanagy.

Using information provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, the Energy Information Administration, the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Mining Association and other sources, the MEC calculates the annual amount of minerals and energy fuels that are consumed in the average lifetime of an American born in the current year. The Minerals Baby emphasizes the dependence that each American has on the mining industry.

The MEC’s mission is to identify, produce and disseminate fact-based K-12 minerals education lessons and activities and to inform and educate the general public about the importance of mining in their everyday lives.

For more information on the MEC, go to

The Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME) is a professional society (nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation) whose more than 15,000 membership represents all professionals serving the minerals industry in more than 100 countries. SME members include engineers, geologists, metallurgists, educators, students and researchers. SME advances the worldwide mining and underground construction community through information exchange and professional development. SME's staff is located in Englewood, Colorado.

For more information contact John Hayden, Deputy Executive Director - Public Affairs and Government Relations, at (303) 948-4250 or