US mining output rises 12% y/y to $90.4bn

Credit: Caterpillar.

Operating mines in the United States generated $90.4 billion in mineral commodities in 2021, a 12% increase year-over-year, the US Geological Survey said in the 27th annual Mineral Commodity Summaries report published this week.

The USGS credited the restart of the US economy in 2021 following government-mandated shutdowns seen during the initial phases of the covid pandemic as having driven increased demand for minerals.

The estimated value of US production of all industrial minerals in 2021 was $56.6 billion, which is 63% of the total value of US mine production value. Crushed stone was the leading nonfuel mineral commodity domestically produced in 2021, accounting for 21% of the total value of US mine output.

Metal mine production was valued at $33.8 billion, or 23% higher than 2020. The main contributors to the figure were copper (35%), gold (31%), iron ore (13%), and zinc (7%).

The USGS said 14 mineral commodities produced nationally valued at more than $1 billion each, including crushed stone, copper, cement, gold and construction sand and gravel, rounding out the top five.

In a news release, the USGS’ National Minerals Information Center director Steven Fortier said the economic spin-off from these minerals, such as steel, aerospace and electronics, created an estimated $3.32 trillion in value-added products in 2021, an 8% increase from 2020.

The top producing states were Arizona, Nevada, Texas, California, and Minnesota in descending order of rank.

USGS expects to publish the final updated critical minerals list by the end of February, following the close of a 60-day public comment period started on January 10.