In 2018, the total estimated value of nonfuel mineral production in the United States increased by 3 percent from 2017 to $82.2 billion. The estimated value of metals produced domestically decreased by 4 percent, and the estimated value of indusrial minerals produced domestically increased by 7 percent (Table 1).
Some idle U.S. metal mines and processing facilities restarted in 2018, including two primary aluminum smelters in Indiana and Missouri, a rare-earths mine in California and a zinc mine in New York. In contrast, four iron ore mines in Minnesota and a pelletizing plant in Indiana were shut down. Increased oil and natural gas drilling activity in 2018 led to increased production of some industrial mineral commodities that are used for oil and gas drilling, including barite and industrial sand and gravel. Production of industrial minerals primarily used in infrastructure and residential construction — including, cement, construction sand and gravel, crushed stone and gypsum — increased in 2018. Overall, mining activity trended upward for the second consecutive year because of increases in oil and gas extraction and industrial mineral mining.