Nonfuel Mineral Production Increases Again

The USGS has announced that nonfuel mineral production values in the U.S. have increased for the third consecutive year, noting a $1.7 billion raise since 2011.

The annual report from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Minerals Information Center includes statistics on about 90 mineral commodities essential to the U.S. economy and national security, and addresses events, trends, and issues in the domestic and international minerals industries.

The estimated value of mineral raw materials produced at mines in the United States in 2012 was $76.5 billion, a slight increase from $74.8 billion in 2011. Net exports of mineral raw materials and old scrap contributed an additional $21 billion to the U.S. economy.

"Minerals are the raw materials for construction, manufacturing, high technology, new industries, jobs, and ultimately economic expansion," said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. "These summaries are where Geology meets Economics, to create the complex tapestry of variations in mineral production over time and space."

Minerals remained fundamental to the U.S. economy, contributing to the real gross domestic product (GDP) at several levels, including mining, processing, and manufacturing finished products. Minerals' contribution to the GDP increased for the second consecutive year.