Bellora, J.D., Burger, M.H., Van Gosen, B.S., Long, K.R., Carroll, T.R., Schmeda, Germán, and Giles, S.A., 2019, Rare Earth Element Occurrences in the United States (ver. 4.0, June 2019): U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/F7FN15D1.
This dataset is part of an ongoing effort by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to understand the attributes and geologic distribution of critical mineral resources, both globally, and in particular, in the United States. As described in USGS Professional Paper 1802, the United States continues to become more dependent on imports to meet the domestic demands for an increasing number of mineral commodities (Schulz and others, 2017). Many mineral commodities are now produced primarily or entirely outside of the United States, creating the potential for supply interruptions in the foreseeable future, or in the long term. These important but highly dependent mineral commodities are deemed critical and (or) strategic resources. The rare earth elements (REEs) represent a prime example of a “critical mineral resource”. In the 21st century, the REEs have gained visibility due to: (1) the recognition of the essential, specialized properties that REEs contribute to modern technology, as well as (2) China's dominance in production and supply of the REEs, and (3) international dependence on China for the majority of the world's REE supply. Since the late 1990s, China has provided 85–95 percent of the world’s REEs, while the United States and other nations are highly dependent on REEs for their use in high technology devices, clean energy components, and defense technologies. This dataset was compiled to provide base layers of information that identify and describe the known REE deposits, prospects, and showings in the United States. This compilation is intended to contribute to our geologic understanding of REE deposits in the United States, and to assist in evaluating their resource potential. Schulz, K.J., DeYoung, J.H., Jr., Seal, R.R., II, and Bradley, D.C., eds., 2017, Critical mineral resources of the United States—Economic and environmental geology and prospects for future supply: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1802, 797 p., http://doi.org/10.3133/pp1802.