USGS reports US mines produced $86.3 billion in minerals in 2019

February 6, 2020

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) announced on Feb. 6 that U.S. mines produced approximately $86.3 billion in minerals in 2019 – more than $2 billion higher than revised 2018 production totals.

“The data we are releasing today is vital to understanding which minerals are vulnerable to disruptions in America’s supply chains and provides the analytical foundation for president Trump’s broader strategy to make our economy and defense more secure,” 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 every day 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. 

In 2019, the estimated total value of nonfuel mineral production in the United States was $86.3 billion, an increase of 3 percent 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 percent net import reliant for 17 of those.

The domestic production of critical rare-earth mineral concentrates increased by 8 kt (8,800 st) (more than 44 percent) in 2019 to 26 kt (29,000 st) tons, making the U.S. the largest producer of rare-earth mineral concentrates outside of China.

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

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 percent more than that of 2018. Of this total, the value of industrial minerals production was dominated by crushed stone and construction sand and gravel at $27.7 billion. Crushed stone was the leading nonfuel mineral commodity in 2019 accounting for 22 percent 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 percent), copper (28 percent), iron ore (19 percent) and zinc (7 percent).

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.

 

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