US mines produce $74.6 billion in minerals for 2016

US mines produce $74.6 billion in minerals for 2016

Mines in the United States produced an estimated US$74.6 billion of raw materials, a small increase on 2015, reported the US Geological Survey.

The calculation comes from the 40th annual Mineral Commodity Summaries report which includes statistics on more than 88 mineral commodities important to the US economy and national security.

However, slower growth in demand for metals, particularly in china, and excess production produced low prices in 2015 and early 2016 causing the value of US metal mine production to slow to $23 billion, down 5% on 2015.

“The Mineral Commodity Summaries provide crucial, unbiased statistics that decision makers and policy makers, in both the private and public sectors, rely on to make business decisions and national policy,” said Steven M. Fortier, director of the USGS National Minerals Information Center.

“Industries – such as steel, aerospace and electronics – processed non-fuel mineral materials and created an estimated $2.8 trillion in value added products in 2016, which contributed 15 percent to the total U.S. Gross Domestic Product.”

The report also indicated US imports of rare earths increased by 6%, Aluminium decreased for the fourth consecutive year, down 47% and iron ore production was down 11% in 2016, but the US would likely continue to be one of the world’s leading markets for industrial diamond.

The US is also now ‘100% import reliant’ on 20 minerals, including rare earths, manganese and niobium –  considered strategic minerals because they are essential to the economy and supply side insecure.