USGS Mineral Commodity Summaries 2015 now available

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Updated Wed, 04 Feb 2015 13:49:28 GMT

The US Geological Survey (USGS) has released its Mineral Commodity Summaries 2015, in which it is shown that the estimated value of mineral production increased in the United States in 2014, despite the decline in price for most precious metals.

The estimated value of mineral raw materials produced at mines in the US in 2014 was US$77.6 billion, an increase of 4.6% from US$74.2 billion in 2013. US economic growth supported the domestic primary metals industry and industrial minerals industry; however, weak global economic growth and the strong US dollar limited US processed mineral exports, which decreased to US$108 billion in 2014 from US$129 billion in 2013. Meanwhile, low-priced metal imports increased during most of 2014.

The annual report from the USGS is the earliest comprehensive source of 2014 mineral production data for the world. It includes statistics on about 90 mineral commodities essential to the US economy and national security, and addresses events, trends and issues in the domestic and international minerals industries.

Mineral commodities remain an essential part of the US economy, contributing to the real gross domestic product at several levels, including mining, processing and manufacturing finished products. The United States continues to rely on foreign sources for raw and processed mineral materials. In 2014, the supply for more than half of US apparent consumption of 43 mineral commodities came from imports, increasing from 40 commodities in 2013. The United States was 100% import reliant for 19 of those commodities, including indium, niobium, and tantalum, which are among a suite of materials often designated as “critical” or “strategic.”

Mine production of 13 mineral commodities was worth more than US$1 billion each in the United States in 2014. These were, in decreasing order of value, crushed stone, copper, gold, cement, construction sand and gravel, iron ore (shipped), industrial sand and gravel, molybdenum concentrates, phosphate rock, lime, salt, zinc, soda ash, and clays (all types).  The estimated value of US industrial minerals mine production in 2014 was US$46.1 billion, about 7% more than that of 2013.

The estimated value of US metal mine production in 2014 was US$31.5 billion, slightly less than that of 2013. These raw materials and domestically recycled materials were used to process mineral materials worth US$697 billion. These mineral materials, including aluminium, brick, copper, fertilizers, and steel, plus net imports of processed materials (worth about US$41 billion) were, in turn, consumed by industries that use minerals to create products, with a value added to the US economy of an estimated US$2.5 trillion in 2014.

The construction industry continued to show signs of improvement in 2014, being led by nonresidential construction, with increased production and consumption of cement, construction sand and gravel, crushed stone, and gypsum mineral commodities.

In 2014, 12 states each produced more than US$2 billion worth of nonfuel mineral commodities. These states were, in descending order of value: Arizona, Nevada, Minnesota, Texas, Utah, California, Alaska, Florida, Missouri, Michigan, Wyoming and Colorado. The mineral production of these states accounted for 62% of the US total output value.

"Decision-makers and policy-makers in the private and public sectors rely on the Mineral Commodity Summaries and other USGS minerals information publications as unbiased sources of information to make business decisions and national policy," said Steven M. Fortier, Director of the USGS National Minerals Information Center.

The USGS report Mineral Commodity Summaries 2015 is available online.