Gold, silver, and gems aren’t the only treasures out there. The materials that make our modern life possible aren’t always pretty, but they are very important. The rare ones, like the platinum group elements, are also expensive.
Recently, the US government put together a list of the minerals that it considers to be most important to the security and economic welfare of the country. While insiders recognize a difference between “critical” and “strategic,” in practice the two are pretty much the same minerals.
This list has a link for each of the 35 minerals, showing how they are used and lots of other information.
In addition, here is a webinar on critical minerals from 2016.
Featured image: Clint Budd, CC BY 2.0.