U.S. mines produced approximately $98.2 billion in nonfuel mineral commodities in 2022 – an estimated $3.6 billion increase over the 2021 revised total of $94.6 billion, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
This information comes from the 28th annual USGS Mineral Commodity Summaries report, released Jan. 31 by the USGS National Minerals Information Center. The report is a comprehensive source for estimates of 2022 mineral data and includes information on the domestic industry structure, government programs, tariffs, world production and five-year salient statistics for nonfuel mineral commodities that are important to the U.S. economy and national security.
The report covers more than 90 nonfuel mineral commodities monitored by the USGS, including mineral commodities such as cement, iron ore and sand and gravel; precious metals such as gold and silver; as well as rare earth minerals such as lanthanum, neodymium and dysprosium. Nonfuel mineral commodities are used in every facet of modern life from construction to the consumer electronics, aerospace, renewable energy and healthcare industries. The annual USGS report identifies events, trends and issues in the domestic and international minerals industries that impact production and consumption.
“Industries that use nonfuel mineral materials created an estimated $3.64 trillion in value-added products in 2022, which represents a 9% increase from 2021,” said Steven M. Fortier, USGS National Minerals Information Center director. “Decision-makers and leaders in both the private and public sectors rely on the crucial, unbiased statistics and data provided by the USGS in the Mineral Commodity Summaries to make business decisions and determine national policy.”
The increase in consumption of nonfuel mineral commodities compared with that in 2021 is attributed to the continued recovery of markets from the impacts of the global coronavirus pandemic in 2020. Global supply chains and the often-volatile mineral commodity markets were significantly disrupted by the pandemic, especially in the first half of 2020. However, for the United States, the second half of 2020 and all of 2021 saw a rebound in the demand for and prices of nonfuel mineral commodities. This upward trend continued in 2022 with consumption of many mineral commodities now near or exceeding pre-pandemic levels.
The $98.2 billion value of nonfuel mineral commodities produced by U.S. mines in 2022 included other industrial minerals and natural aggregates, as well as ferrous and nonferrous metals. The estimated value of U.S. production of all industrial minerals in 2022 was $63.5 billion, which is about 65% of the total value of U.S. mine production value. Crushed stone was the leading nonfuel mineral commodity domestically produced in 2022, accounting for 21% of the total value of U.S. mine production.
U.S. metal mine production in 2021 was estimated to be valued at $34.7 billion, 6% lower than the revised value in 2021. The principal contributors to the total value of metal mine production in 2022 were copper (33%), gold (28%), iron ore (15%), zinc (9%) and molybdenum (5%).
There were 13 mineral commodities produced in the United States valued at more than $1 billion each. These commodities were, in order of descending value, crushed stone, cement, copper, construction sand and gravel, gold, industrial sand and gravel, iron ore, zinc, salt, lime, phosphate rock, molybdenum and soda ash.
In 2022, the top 10 producing states were, in descending order of rank, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, California, Minnesota, Alaska, Florida, Utah, Michigan and Missouri.
Other key highlights from the report include:
- On Feb. 24, 2022, the USGS published the 2022 Final List of Critical Minerals in the Federal Register (87 FR 10381). The 2022 list of critical minerals, which revised the critical minerals list published in 2018 (83 FR 23295), included 50 mineral commodities instead of 35 mineral commodities or mineral groups. The report also outlines several recent initiatives, projects, and legislation focused on securing American supply chains and supporting domestic production projects under the United States Critical Minerals Update section.
- In October, commissioning began at a cobalt-copper-gold mine and mill in Idaho, where cobalt concentrate will be produced. This mine and one in Morocco are the only mines in the world where cobalt is the principal product.
- In 2022, the USGS invested $74 million in several projects to collect geochemical, geological and geophysical data to improve mapping of critical mineral resources across the country. Substantial funding for the projects came from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The studies were also funded through the USGS Earth Mapping Resources Initiative, a collaborative project between the USGS and state geological surveys to collect and modernize the nation’s geologic mapping and data resources.
- Domestically, $42 billion of metals and mineral products were recycled including metals such as copper, gold, iron and steel scrap, and platinum-group elements to supply domestic consumption. This was a slight decrease in value compared with that in 2021.