Copper is vital to our civilization. It is used in many things we may take for granted. Below is an infographic from the National Mining Association showing how copper is used and where it is mined in the United States (you can get the graphic here).
You can also get a new report “U.S. Mines to Market” which shows the importance of mining to the manufacturing segment of our economy.
Among other things, the report discusses:
In 2013, value added to gross domestic product (GDP) by major American industries that consume processed mineral materials was $2.4 trillion, or 14 percent of total GDP.
As the U.S. manufacturing sector continues to grow, the importance of a secure, stable, reliable and sustainable raw material supply is increasing.
The U.S. permitting process for new mineral and metal mines makes it difficult for our nation to reduce dependence on foreign-sourced raw materials. As it stands, the average waiting period for U.S. mine permitting is seven to ten years. Just to put that into perspective, in Canada and Australia—countries with similarly stringent environmental regulations—the waiting period is two years.
In regard the that last point, see my posts: