Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook 1990
Year 1990, Volume 2 (1990)
McClaskey, Jacqueline A.; Smith, Stephen D.
Survey methods and statistical summary of nonfuel minerals, pp. 1-40 ff. PDF (4.4 MB)
SURVEY METHODS AND STATISTICAL SUMMARY OF NONFUEL MINERALS—1990SURVEY METHODS AND STATISTICAL SUMMARY OF NONFUEL MINERALS By Jacqueline A. McClaskey and Stephen D. Smith Ms. McClaskey, an Operations Research Analyst with 5 years of Government experience, has been with the U.S. Bureau of Mines Branch of Statistics and Methods Development since 1990. Mr. Smith, Mineral Data Assistant in the Branch ofData Collection and Coordination, was assisted in the preparation of the Statistical Summary by Sarah P. Guerrino, Chief, Section of Ferrous Metals Data; Imogene P. Bynum, Chief, Section of Nonferrous Metals Data; Barbara E. Gunn, Chief, Section of Industrial Minerals Data; and William L. Zajac, Chief, Section of International Data. SURVEY METHODS The U.S. Bureau of Mines Information and Analysis Directorate collects worldwide data on virtually every commercially important nonfuel mineral commodity. These data form the base for tracking and assessing the health of the minerals sector of the U.S. economy. The Bureau' s data collection activity was instituted by the 47th Congress in an appropriations act ofAugust 7, 1 882 (22 Stat. 329), which placed the collection of mmeral statistics on an annual basis. The most recent authority for the U.S. Bureau of Mines survey activity is the National Materials and Minerals Policy, Research and Development Act of 1980 (Public Law 96479, 96th Congress). This act strengthens protection for proprietary data provided to the U.S. Department of the Interior by persons or firms engaged in any phase of mineral or mineral-material production or consumption. Data Collection Surveys The Bureau begins the collection of domestic nonfuel minerals and materials statistics by appraising the information requirements of Government and private organizations of the United States. Information needs that can be satisfied by data from the minerals industries are expressed as questions on U.S. Bureau ofMines survey forms. Figure 1 shows a typical survey form. Specific questions about the production, consumption, shipments, etc., of mineral commodities are structured in the survey forms to provide meaningful aggregated data. Thus, the entire mineral economic cycle from production through consumption is covered by 169 monthly, quarterly, semiannual, annual, and biennial surveys. After the survey form has been designed, a list of the appropriate establishments to be canvassed is developed. Many sources are used to determine which companies, mines, plants, and other operations should be included on the survey mailing list. U.S. Bureau of Mines State Mineral Officers, State geologists, Federalorganizations (e.g., Mine Safety and Health Administration), trade associations, industry representatives, and trade publications and directories are some ofthe sources that are used to develop and update survey listings. With few exceptions, a complete canvass of the list of establishments is employed rather than a sample survey. The iron and steel scrap industry is one of the exceptions where a sample survey is conducted. The Paperwork Reduction Act requires that any Government agency wishing to collect information from 1 0 or more people first obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (0MB). 0MB approves the need to collect the data and protects industry from unwarranted Govemment paperwork. Survey Processing Approximately 26,000 establishments yield more than 50,000 responses to 169 surveys annually. Each completed survey form returned to the Bureau undergoes extensive scrutiny to ensure the highest possible accuracy of the mineral data. The statistical staff monitors all surveys to ensure that errors are not created by reporting in physical units different from the units requested on the form. Relationships between related measures, such as produced crude ore and marketable crude ore, are analyzed for consistency. Engineering relationships, such as recovery factors from ores and concentrates, are also employed. The totals for each form are verified, and currently reported data are checked against prior reports to detect possible errors or omissions. For the majority of the surveys, which are automated, the forms are reviewed to ensure that data are complete and correct before entering into the computer. The computer is programmed to conduct a series of automated checks to verify mathematical consistency and to identify discrepancies between the data reported and logically acceptable responses. The U.S. Bureau of Mines is modernizing and automating all of its survey processing and data dissemination functions. Automated commodity data system functions include computerized preparation of statistical tables; the use of desktop publishing to integrate text and tables; and the implementation ofa microcomputer bulletin board, known as MINES-DATA, for electronic dissemination of minerals data. Survey Responses.—To enable the reader to beuer understand the basis on which the statistics are calculated, each commodity annual report includes a section entitled "Domestic Data Coverage." This section briefly describes the data sources, the numher ofestablishments surveyed, the response
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