The 2015 Mineral Commodity Summaries, an annual report from the U.S. Geological Survey, shares information about domestic minerals and their importance to the U.S. economy. Below are some key highlights from this year’s report:
• The estimated value of mineral raw materials produced at U.S. mines in 2014 was $77.6 billion.
The domestic minerals mining industry is a major stimulant of the U.S. economy. The estimated value of minerals produced at U.S. mines increased by $3.3 billion in 2014, and during that year, industries utilized those minerals to add more than $2.5 trillion to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).
Industries, including technology, manufacturing, construction and automotive all depend on a secure mineral supply chain to produce the products we use each and every day. With the world’s population growing and requiring more access to technology, the global demand for minerals will continue to increase.
• Mine production of 14 mineral commodities was worth more than $1 billion each in the U.S. in 2014. These include copper, gold, iron ore and phosphate rock, among others.
Minerals and metals are the essential building blocks of modern technology. For example, copper is the second most widely used material by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and is an essential component in high technology, infrastructure and advanced energy. Additionally, gold is one of the world’s most sought-after minerals with a variety of uses – from sophisticated medical equipment to GPS and satellite technology.
• In 2014, 12 states each produced more than $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 U.S. is home to a wealth of mineral reserves. States like Arizona and Nevada boast some of the most mining jobs in the country. In fact, Arizona is home to some of the largest mining reserves in the U.S., and mining has played a key role shaping the industrial development of the state.
More broadly, U.S. mining supports more than 1.2 million jobs, and it is estimated that every metal mining job generates 2.5 additional jobs elsewhere in the economy, and that every nonmetal-mining job generates 1.8 additional jobs.
By creating jobs, supporting our domestic supply chain and providing essential materials for technological advancements, mining is emerging as an important partner in stimulating economic recovery.
To see the complete outlook, read the full 2015 Mineral Commodity Summaries report here.
Image from Creative Commons. Workmen drill holes for blasting asbestos at Thetford-Mines, Que.