U.S. Nonfuel Mineral Production Jumps $3.6 Billion in 2022

commodity domestically produced in 2022, accounting for 21% of the total value of U.S. mine production.

U.S. metal mine production in 2021 was estimated to be valued at $34.7 billion, 6% lower than the revised value in 2021. The principal contributors to the total value of metal mine production in 2022 were copper (33%), gold (28%), iron ore (15%), zinc (9%) and molybdenum (5%).

There were 13 mineral commodities produced in the U.S. valued at more than $1 billion each. These commodities were, in order of descending value, crushed stone, cement, copper, construction sand and gravel, gold, industrial sand and gravel, iron ore, zinc, salt, lime, phosphate rock, molybdenum and soda ash.

In 2022, the top 10 producing states were, in descending order of rank, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, California, Minnesota, Alaska, Florida, Utah, Michigan and Missouri.

Other key highlights from the report include:

·  On Feb. 24, 2022, the USGS published the 2022 Final List of Critical Minerals in the Federal Register (87 FR 10381). The 2022 list of critical minerals, which revised the critical minerals list published in 2018 (83 FR 23295), included 50 mineral commodities instead of 35 mineral commodities or mineral groups. The report also outlines several recent initiatives, projects, and legislation focused on securing American supply chains and supporting domestic production projects under the United States Critical Minerals Update section.

·  In October, commissioning began at a cobalt-copper-gold mine and mill in Idaho, where cobalt concentrate will be produced. This mine and one in Morocco are the only mines in the world where cobalt is the principal product.

·  In 2022, the USGS invested $74 million in several projects to collect geochemical, geological and geophysical data to improve mapping of critical mineral resources across the country. Substantial funding for the projects came from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The studies were also funded through the USGS Earth Mapping Resources Initiative, a collaborative project between the USGS and state geological surveys to collect and modernize the nation’s geologic mapping and data resources.  

·  Domestically, $42 billion of metals and mineral products were recycled including metals such as copper, gold, iron and steel scrap, and platinum-group elements to supply domestic consumption. This was a slight decrease in value compared with that in 2021.

The USGS delivers unbiased science and information to improve understanding of mineral resource potential, production, consumption and how minerals interact with the environment. The USGS National Minerals Information Center collects, analyzes and disseminates current information on the supply of and the demand for minerals and materials in the U.S. and about 180 other countries. This information is essential in planning for and mitigating impacts of potential disruptions to mineral commodity supply due to both natural hazards and man-made events.

The USGS report, “Mineral Commodity Summaries 2023” is available here: https://doi.org/10.3133/mcs2023.  Data from the 2023 report is available here: https://doi.org/10.5066/P9WCYUI6