2015 Review: Mining review
Mining Engineering, 2016, Vol. 68, No. 5, pp. 52-52
In 2015, the estimated value of nonfuel mineral production in the United States decreased by 3 percent from that in 2014 (Table 1), mainly as a result of decreased metal and metallic mineral prices, especially iron ore, copper and precious metals. Lower metal prices were attributed to decreased consumption, especially in China and increased global inventories. Several U.S. metal mines were idled in 2015, including the only U.S. rare earths mine at Mountain Pass, CA. Downstream processors also were affected, with smelters and refiners either shutting down or idling production lines. Increases, however, took place in the value and quantity of production of industrial minerals, especially those used in the construction sector, including cement, construction sand and gravel and crushed stone. Trends in mineral-related sectors of the domestic economy, except for iron and steel manufacturing, aluminum manufacturing, coal mining and metals mining, all experienced growth (Table 2).
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