2014 Mineral Commodity Summaries Commentary

Posted on March 18, 2014 by Minerals Make Life

The 2014 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 mines in the United States in 2013 was $74.3 billion.

The U.S. minerals mining industry is not only a major job-creator, but it is also a catalyst for economic recovery and expansion. This industry supports more than 1.2 million American jobs, and it is estimated that every metal mining job generates 2.5 additional jobs elsewhere in the economy, and every nonmetal-mining job generates 1.8 additional jobs. Industries including technology, manufacturing, construction and automotive transform these minerals into the infrastructure and products we use every day, and minerals contributed more than $2 trillion to the real gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013.

The estimated value of U.S. metal mine production in 2013 was $32 billion. Principal contributors to the total value of metal mine production in 2013 were gold (32 percent), copper (29 percent), iron ore (17 percent), molybdenum (10 percent), and zinc (5 percent).

Minerals and metals are essential, irreplaceable components of modern technology. For example, gold is one of the world’s most sought-after minerals and has a variety of uses – from sophisticated medical equipment to GPS and satellite technology. Additionally, copper is an essential component to wind turbines and solar power technology. The technologies that define innovation today all depend on minerals – from lifesaving medical devices to hybrid cars and advanced military technologies. U.S. metal mine production is a key factor to our national security establishment, as well as economic recovery.  

In 2013, 12 states each produced more than $2 billion worth of nonfuel mineral commodities. These states were, in descending order of value – Nevada, Arizona, Minnesota, Florida, Texas, Alaska, Utah, California, Wyoming, Missouri, Michigan, and Colorado.

In Nevada, mines produce around 80 percent of the gold extracted in the United States, which is the fifth highest gold producing state behind China, South Africa, Russia and Australia. Additionally, according to the Arizona Mining Association, Arizona currently produces 68 percent of domestically mined copper. 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.

Minerals are the building blocks of our future and provide the materials we need for technological innovation, economic growth and national security. To see the complete 2014 outlook, read the full report here.

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