Arizona was #1 mineral producer in 2014

Twin Butes mine Sahuarita, AZ
Twin Butes mine Sahuarita, AZ
Twin Butes mine Sahuarita, AZ

According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Mineral Commodity Summary for 2015, Arizona was the top non-fuel mineral producer in the U.S. in 2014, edging out Nevada which fell to number two because of the drop in gold prices. The top 12 States each produced more than $2 billion worth of non-fuel mineral commodities. These States were, in descending order of value: Arizona, Nevada, Minnesota, Texas, Utah, California, Alaska, Florida, Missouri, Michigan, Wyoming, and Colorado. (Delaware comes in last with $14 million worth of sand and gravel, magnesium compounds, stone, and gemstones.)

In 2014, Arizona produced $8.06 billion worth of minerals which represented over 10% of total U.S. production. Major non-fuel minerals were copper, molybdenum concentrates, sand and gravel, cement, and crushed stone. Arizona produces over two-thirds of U.S. domestically mined copper.

The total impact of the mineral industry on the U.S. economy of was $17.4 trillion in 2014. That figure includes mining, processing, and value added by manufacturing.

The USGS notes that the U.S. is at least 50% reliant on imports for consumption of 43 mineral products and is 100% reliant on imports for 19 of those minerals. However, the U.S. was a net exporter of 17 mineral products.

The table below shows mineral industry trends of production, employment, and wages.

The USGS says:

“The estimated value of U.S. metal mine production in 2014 was $31.5 billion, slightly less than that of 2013. Principal contributors to the total value of metal mine production in 2014 were copper (32%), gold (27%), iron ore (16%), molybdenum (10%), and zinc (6%). Changes in average prices for domestically mined metals were mixed in 2014. After increased yearly average prices from 2002–12, gold prices decreased for the second consecutive year. The estimated value of U.S. industrial minerals mine production in 2014 was $46.1 billion, about 7% more than that of 2013. The value of industrial minerals mine production in 2013 was dominated by crushed stone (28%), cement (17%), and construction sand and gravel (15%). In general, industrial minerals prices increased slightly.”

The Mineral Commodity Summary document provides detailed information on 83 mineral commodities.

For more Arizona mining stories, see:

The Gold of Cañada del Oro
The Pontatoc mine lost in a north Tucson neighborhood
Old mines of the Tucson Mountains
Rock Salt Deposits of Arizona
Saginaw Hill
Manganese may be mined in Arizona
The I-10 copper deposit
Some Surprises about the Copper Deposits near Green Valley
The old Jacobs tungsten mill in Tucson