US mine production value rises 3.8% to $98 billion in 2022 — USGS

A geodetic survey marker at Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor, Maine. Credit: Adobe Stock

US mines produced approximately $98.2 billion in nonfuel mineral commodities in 2022, an estimated $3.6 billion (~3.8%) increase over the 2021 revised total of $94.6 billion, the US Geological Survey announced Thursday.

This information comes from the 28th annual USGS Mineral Commodity Summaries report released January 31 by the USGS National Minerals Information Center.

The report is a comprehensive source for estimates of 2022 mineral data, and includes information on the domestic industry structure, government programs, tariffs, world production and five-year salient statistics for nonfuel mineral commodities that are important to the US economy and national security.

The report covers more than 90 nonfuel mineral commodities monitored by the USGS, including mineral commodities such as cement, iron ore and sand and gravel; precious metals such as gold and silver; as well as rare earth minerals such as lanthanum, neodymium and dysprosium.

Nonfuel mineral commodities are used in every facet of modern life from construction to the consumer electronics, aerospace, renewable energy and healthcare industries. The annual USGS report identifies events, trends and issues in the domestic and international minerals industries that impact production and consumption.

“Industries that use nonfuel mineral materials created an estimated $3.64 trillion in value-added products in 2022, which represents a 9% increase from 2021,” said Steven M. Fortier, USGS National Minerals Information Center director.

“Decision-makers and leaders in both the private and public sectors rely on the crucial, unbiased statistics and data provided by the USGS in the Mineral Commodity Summaries to make business decisions and determine national policy,” he added.

According to the report, the increase in consumption of nonfuel mineral commodities compared with that in 2021 is attributed to the continued recovery of markets from the impacts of the global pandemic in 2020. Global supply chains and the often-volatile mineral commodity markets were significantly disrupted by the pandemic, especially in the first half of 2020, the report reads.

However, for the US, the second half of 2020 and all of 2021 saw a rebound in the demand for and prices of nonfuel mineral commodities, the report adds. This upward trend continued in 2022 with consumption of many mineral commodities now near or exceeding pre-pandemic levels.

As indicated in the report, the $98.2 billion value of nonfuel mineral commodities produced by US mines in 2022 included other industrial minerals and natural aggregates, as well as ferrous and nonferrous metals.

The estimated value of US production of all industrial minerals in 2022 was $63.5 billion, which is about 65% of the total value of US mine production value. Crushed stone was the leading nonfuel mineral commodity domestically produced in 2022, accounting for 21% of the total value of US mine production.

US metal mine production in 2021 was estimated to be valued at $34.7 billion, about 6% lower than the revised value in 2021. The principal contributors to the total value of metal mine production in 2022 were copper (33%), gold (28%), iron ore (15%), zinc (9%) and molybdenum (5%).

There were 13 mineral commodities produced in the US valued at more than $1 billion each. These commodities were, in order of descending value: crushed stone, cement, copper, construction sand and gravel, gold, industrial sand and gravel, iron ore, zinc, salt, lime, phosphate rock, molybdenum and soda ash.

The top 10 producing states in 2022 were, in descending order of rank: Arizona, Nevada, Texas, California, Minnesota, Alaska, Florida, Utah, Michigan and Missouri.

This map from the Mineral Commodity Summaries 2023 shows the value of nonfuel minerals produced by each state in 2022. Credit: USGS

The USGS report, “Mineral Commodity Summaries 2023” is available here.