United States mines in 2016 produced an estimated $74.6 billion of raw mineral materials, a slight increase from 2015, the U.S. Geological Survey announced today.
The information comes from the 40th annual Mineral Commodity Summaries report, the earliest comprehensive source of 2016 mineral production data for the world. It includes statistics on more than 88 mineral commodities that are important to the U.S. economy and national security. The report identifies events, trends and issues in the domestic and international minerals industries.
“The Mineral Commodity Summaries provide crucial, unbiased statistics that decision makers and policy makers, in both the private and public sectors, rely on to make business decisions and national policy,” said Steven M. Fortier, Director of the USGS National Minerals Information Center. “Industries – such as steel, aerospace and electronics – processed non-fuel mineral materials and created an estimated $2.8 trillion in value added products in 2016, which contributed 15 percent to the total U.S. Gross Domestic Product.”
One key finding from the report is during 2016, the U.S. was 100 percent import reliant on 20 mineral commodities, including rare earths, manganese and niobium, which are among a suite of materials often designated as “critical” or “strategic” because they are essential to the economy and their supply may be disrupted. This number has increased from just 11 commodities in 1984.
Some other significant findings in the new report on domestic mineral production include:
The United States produced 13 mineral commodities in 2016 that were worth more than $1 billion each and the estimated value of total U.S. industrial minerals production in 2016 was $51.6 billion, 5 percent more than that of 2015.
Slower growth in consumption for metals – especially in China – and excess production, resulted in low prices in 2015 and early 2016 for most metals. This caused the value of 2016 U.S. metal mine production to drop to $23 billion, a 5 percent loss compared to 2015.
While the report looks at mineral commodities across the nation, eleven states individually produced more than $2 billion worth of nonfuel mineral commodities in 2016. These states were (in descending order of value): Nevada, Arizona, Texas, California, Minnesota, Florida, Alaska, Michigan, Wyoming, Missouri and Utah.
The USGS Mineral Resources Program delivers unbiased science and information to understand mineral resource potential, production, consumption and how minerals interact with the environment. The USGS National Minerals Information Center collects, analyzes, and disseminates current information on the supply of and the demand for minerals and materials in the United States and about 180 other countries. This information is essential in planning for and mitigating impacts of potential disruptions to mineral commodity supply due to both natural hazard and man-made events.
The USGS report Mineral Commodity Summaries 2017 is available online. Hardcopies will be available later in the year from the Government Printing Office, Superintendent of Documents. For ordering information, please call (202) 512-1800 or (866) 512-1800 or go online.
For more information on this report and individual mineral commodities, please visit the USGS National Minerals Information Center website. To keep up-to-date on USGS mineral research, follow us on Twitter.
Office of Communications and Publishing
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, VA 20192