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Report Highlights Importance of Mining Minerals for U.S. Economy


The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) announced that U.S. mines produced approximately $86.3 billion in minerals in 2019 – more than $2 billion higher than revised 2018 production totals.

The $86.3 billion worth of nonfuel minerals produced by U.S. mines in 2019 comprised industrial minerals, which includes natural aggregates as well as ferrous and nonferrous metals.

The estimated value of U.S. industrial minerals production in 2019 was $58.2 billion, about 3% more than that of 2018. Of this total, the value of industrial minerals production was dominated by crushed stone and construction sand and gravel (construction aggregates) at $27.7 billion. Crushed stone was the leading nonfuel mineral commodity in 2019 accounting for 22% of the total value of U.S. nonfuel mineral production. 

U.S. metal mine production in 2019 was estimated to be $28.1 billion, or almost $500 million higher than in 2018. The principal contributors to the total value of metal mine production in 2018 were gold (32%), copper (28%), iron ore (19%) and zinc (7%).

U.S. production of 13 mineral commodities were valued at more than $1 billion each in 2019. These were, in decreasing order of value: crushed stone, cement, construction sand and gravel, gold, copper, industrial sand and gravel, iron ore, lime, salt, zinc, soda ash, phosphate rock and molybdenum concentrates.

In 2019, 13 states each produced more than $2 billion worth of nonfuel mineral commodities. The states were, ranked in descending order of production value: Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Minnesota, California, Florida, Utah, Alaska, Missouri, Michigan, Wyoming, Georgia and Pennsylvania.

“The data we are releasing today is vital to understanding which minerals are vulnerable to disruptions in America’s supply chains,” said Jim Reilly, USGS director. “American production of minerals – having an estimated value of more than $86 billion – is critical for all means of commerce and manufacturing with many of these minerals being used in everyday household items.”

The 43rd annual Mineral Commodity Summaries report from the USGS National Minerals Information Center is the earliest comprehensive source of 2019 world mineral production data. It includes information on the domestic industry structure, government programs and tariffs, as well as five-year salient statistics on more than 90 mineral commodities that are important to the U.S. economy and national security. It also identifies events, trends and issues in the domestic and international minerals industries. This report covers the full range of nonfuel minerals monitored by the center.

“Decision makers and leaders in both the private and public sectors rely on the crucial, unbiased statistics and data provided in the Mineral Commodity Summaries to make business decisions and determine national policy,” said Acting National Minerals Information Center Director Michael J. Magyar. “Industries – such as steel, aerospace and electronics – processed nonfuel mineral materials created an estimated $3.13 trillion in value-added products in 2019, which represents a 2.5% increase over 2018.”

In 2019, the estimated total value of nonfuel mineral production in the United States was $86.3 billion, an increase of 3% from the upwardly revised total of $84.0 billion in 2018.

According to this year’s report, the U.S. continues to rely on foreign sources for some raw and processed mineral materials. In 2019, imports made up more than one-half of U.S apparent consumption for 46 nonfuel mineral commodities, and the U.S. was 100% net import reliant for 17 of those.

The domestic production of critical rare-earth mineral concentrates increased by 8,000 metric tons (more than 44%) in 2019 to 26,000 metric tons, making the U.S. the largest producer of rare-earth mineral concentrates outside of China.

For 2019, critical minerals as defined by Executive Order 13817, comprised 14 of the 17 mineral commodities with 100% net import reliance and 17 additional critical mineral commodities had a net import reliance greater than 50% of apparent consumption. The largest number of nonfuel mineral commodities were supplied to the United States from China, followed by Canada.