US mines produced $82.3 billion in minerals in 2020 – report

US mines produced approximately $82.3 billion in minerals in 2020— about $1.5 billion lower than the 2019 revised total of $83.7 billion, the U.S. Geological Survey announced.

The $82.3 billion worth of nonfuel minerals produced by U.S. mines in 2020 is for all nonfuel mineral commodity production, USGS found, including industrial minerals and natural aggregates as well as ferrous and nonferrous metals.

The estimated value of U.S. production of industrial minerals in 2020 was $54.6 billion, about 4% less than that of 2019 while US metal mine production in 2020 was estimated to be $27.7 billion, 3% higher than in 2019.

The principal contributors to the total value of metal mine production in 2020 were gold (38%), copper (27%), iron ore (15%) and zinc (6%).

“Industries—such as steel, aerospace and electronics—that use nonfuel mineral materials created an estimated $3.03 trillion in value-added products in 2020, which represents a 3% decrease from that in 2019,”
NMIC director Steven M. Fortier said in a media release.

According to this year’s report, the US continues to significantly rely on foreign sources for many raw and processed minerals. In 2020, imports made up more than one-half of U.S consumption for 46 nonfuel mineral commodities, and the U.S. relied entirely on imports for 17 of those.

A number of these imported minerals are key materials for renewable energy generation and storage, and for infrastructure technologies.

In 2020, the USGS and its partners published a new methodology that evaluated the global supply of and US demand for 52 mineral commodities from 2007 to 2016.

Of the 35 minerals deemed critical to the economy and national security in 2018, the new methodology identified 23 mineral commodities, including cobalt, niobium, tungsten and others, classified as rare earth elements (REEs), as posing the greatest supply risk for the U.S. manufacturing sector.

The US relies entirely on imports for 17 mineral commodities, 14 of which are identified as critical minerals. Another 14 critical mineral commodities had a net import reliance greater than 50% of apparent consumption.

Due to reduced industrial consumption as a result of covid-19, net import reliance for many commodities was lower than in previous years, The largest number of nonfuel mineral commodities with a net import reliance of greater than 50% were supplied to the U.S. from China.

US production of 12 mineral commodities was valued at more than $1 billion each in 2020. These were, in decreasing order of value: crushed stone, gold, cement, construction sand and gravel, copper, iron ore, industrial sand and gravel, salt, lime, phosphate rock, zinc and soda ash.

In 2020, 12 states each produced more than $2 billion worth of nonfuel mineral commodities. The states, ranked in descending order of production value, were: Nevada, Arizona, Texas, California, Minnesota, Florida, Alaska, Utah, Missouri, Michigan, Wyoming and Georgia.

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