T. E. Graedel, N. T. Nassar, 2015. "The criticality of metals: a perspective for geologists", Ore Deposits in an Evolving Earth, G. R. T. Jenkin, P. A. J. Lusty, I. Mcdonald, M. P. Smith, A. J. Boyce, J. J. Wilkinson
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The criticality of metals (the quality, state, or degree of being of the highest importance) is of increasing concern as populations and wealth increase and as mineral extraction follows. Many characteristics are involved in determining criticality, and those involving geology are among the most important. We discuss the state of knowledge of mineable resources across the periodic table, and how those determinations factor into criticality evaluations. We then illustrate criticality evaluations of the copper ore group elements for the specific example of the UK. Given the importance of the ore metals over the long term, we argue that efforts on the part of the geological community to update and maintain criticality-related information deserve much more attention than they are now receiving.