An American born today will consume 1.42mkg of minerals, metals and fuels in the course of a typical 78.8-year lifespan.
The Minerals Education Coalition of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration calculates every year what quantity of basic commodities an American born today will use over his or her lifetime in a range of everyday activities.
The coalition’s aim is to highlight the importance of the minerals industry’s contribution to US GDP through mining, processing and in finished products.
Its calculations include all the copper, iron ore and ceramics used in electricity and plumbing; the sand and gravel used in concrete for roads and buildings; coal for power generation; and all the elements found in household goods like refrigerators, cars and computers.
In SA, mining contributed 8.3% of GDP in the first quarter of this year. Minerals are also an input in manufacturing, at 13.9% of the economy, and in transport and communications, at 9.3%.