U.S. mine and plant production data for 14 selected mineral commodities are provided monthly (or quarterly) by the U.S. Geological Survey to the Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System (FRS), for use in preparing its index of industrial production and the related capacity indexes and capacity utilization rates.
These measures cover manufacturing, mining, and electric and gas utilities and they are among the key economic indicators monitored by the FRS for guidance in determining national monetary policy.
The combined production of construction materials (cement, construction sand and gravel, crushed stone, and gypsum) in the third quarter of 2017 was 7 percent higher compared with that in the second quarter of 2017. Gypsum, however, was essentially unchanged compared with that in the second quarter of 2017.
Production of secondary aluminum remained essentially unchanged in the third quarter of 2017 and has remained that way since the first quarter 2016, copper production decreased by 6 percent, whereas iron ore and zinc increased slightly and by 16 percent, respectively, compared with that in the second quarter of 2017.
During the third quarter of 2017, gold and silver production decreased by 10 percent each compared with production in the second quarter of 2017. The continued strike at a polymetallic silver and lead mine in Idaho contributed to the decreased silver production.