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Mineral production accounts for 3% of the United States gross national product and for about 7% of the Canadian gross national product. In the United States, the value of mineral production is now approximately $30 billion annually, of which 70% is derived from fuels and 10% from metals. In Canada, metals account for more than half and fuels account for only one third of the total value of about $4½ billion.
Mineral production is a declining component of the gross national product. Even so the total value of production will probably exceed $40 billion in 1980. The supply and demand for different minerals will grow at different rates, but the total amount of mineral product during the next decade will be almost 2/3 as much as cumulative consumption during the past 35 years. Finding the mineral reserves to supply expanding economy will be an enormous challenge to industry and to the geologist.
Industry's attention is drawn daily to problems which divert it from its primary goal of supplying sufficient mineral production to promote the economic growth of the nation, such as problems of depletion, pollution, taxation, federal leasing regulations, and import quotas.
A major problem facing the industry and explorationist is the creation of an environment to improve our mineral-finding ability. Past practices of the industry and explorationist merit change. The industry must stabilize its employment practices to retain and encourage an influx of high-caliber personnel into the industry. These scientists must be able to innovate and to use the rapidly increasing amount of data. This will require a stress on geologic teamwork in lieu of individual effort, which has been our trademark.
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