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Mapped: U.S. Mineral Production, by State

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Mapped: U.S. Non-fuel Mineral Production, by State

Just how many minerals does the U.S. consume? In 2020, non-fuel mineral consumption worked out to around 19,000 pounds or 8.6 tonnes per person.

This includes metals like copper, iron ore, and zinc, along with construction sand, stone, cement, and other industrial minerals. With such high demand, changes in the production of these commodities often reflect how the overall economy is performing.

The above infographic maps U.S. non-fuel mineral production by state in 2021 using data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

The Most Valuable Minerals

As the U.S. economy restarted in 2021, American mines generated over $90 billion in non-fuel mineral production, a 12% increase from 2020.

Before diving into the breakdown by state, here’s a look at production value by mineral type:

CategoryProduction value% of Total
Metals$33.8B37.4%
Construction aggregates$29.2B32.3%
Industrial minerals (excl. construction)$27.4B30.3%
Total$90.4B100%

Each of the categories accounted for roughly one-third of the total production value, with metals making up the largest share. Within metals, copper and gold collectively accounted for 66% of the total, followed by iron ore (13%) and zinc (7%).

The production of sand, gravel, and crushed stone—important inputs for construction—also made up a significant chunk of the value, along with other industrial minerals. Furthermore, crushed stone was the leading non-fuel mineral in 2021, with $19.3 billion in production value.

Which States Lead in Mineral Production?

Arizona, Nevada, Texas, California, and Minnesota—the top five states—accounted for nearly 40% of non-fuel mineral production value.

StateValue of Non-fuel Mineral Production% of Total
Arizona$10B11.0%
Nevada$9.4B10.3%
Texas$5.8B6.4%
California$5.3B5.8%
Minnesota$4.0B4.4%
Alaska$3.9B4.3%
Utah$3.8B4.1%
Missouri$3.3B3.7%
Michigan$3.0B3.3%
Wyoming$2.8B3.0%
Florida$2.4B2.7%
Georgia$2.0B2.3%
Montana$2.0B2.2%
Pennsylvania$2.0B2.2%
Alabama$1.9B2.1%
Colorado$1.6B1.8%
New York$1.6B1.7%
Tennessee$1.6B1.7%
Virginia$1.6B1.7%
North Caroline$1.5B1.6%
Ohio$1.4B1.5%
New Mexico$1.3B1.4%
Kansas$1.2B1.3%
Indiana$1.2B1.3%
Arkansas$1.0B1.1%
Wisconsin$1.0B1.1%
Illinois$1.0B1.1%
Iowa$0.96B1.1%
South Carolina$0.95B1.1%
Oklahoma$0.92B1.0%
Washington$0.73B0.8%
Idaho$0.72B0.8%
Louisiana$0.66B0.7%
Oregon$0.60B0.7%
Kentucky$0.59B0.6%
South Dakota$0.50B0.5%
Maryland$0.46B0.5%
New Jersey$0.40B0.4%
West Virginia$0.36B0.4%
Nebraska$0.22B0.2%
Massachusetts$0.21B0.2%
Mississippi$0.20B0.2%
Connecticut$0.18B0.2%
Hawaii$0.13B0.1%
Maine$0.13B0.1%
Vermont$0.11B0.1%
New Hampshire$0.095B0.1%
Rhode Island$0.066B0.07%
North Dakota$0.065B0.07%
Delaware$0.022B0.02%
Undistributed4.0B4.5%
Total$90.4B100.0%

Arizona and Nevada, the top two states, are the country’s biggest producers of copper and gold, respectively. Arizona also produced over $1 billion worth of construction sand and gravel in 2021, in addition to being the country’s leading producer of gemstones.

In third place was Texas, where mines produced nearly $6 billion worth of non-fuel minerals, of which 38% came from crushed stone. California, meanwhile, led in the production of construction sand and gravel, and was the country’s sole source of rare earth elements.

Minnesota also made the top five as the nation’s largest producer of iron ore. In fact, mines in Minnesota and Michigan shipped 98% of domestic usable iron ore products in 2021.

The Missing Critical Minerals

Although the U.S. is a major producer of non-fuel minerals, it still relies on imports for the supply of several minerals.

In 2021, the U.S. imported $5.3 billion worth of raw materials, in addition to $90 billion in net imports of processed mineral materials. Of the 50 minerals deemed critical to national security, the country was 100% net import reliant for 26, including graphite, manganese, and several rare earth metals.

To meet the rising demand for these minerals, U.S. President Biden announced major investments in domestic critical mineral production, including a $35 million grant to MP Materials for the processing of rare earths.

It remains to be seen whether these investments will pay off in building more resilient, end-to-end domestic critical mineral supply chains.

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Misc

The State of Copper Recycling in the U.S.

This graphic explores how recycling copper can help address the demand for the metal in the U.S.

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The State of Copper Recycling in the U.S.

Copper is essential for a low-carbon economy due to its crucial role in renewable energy technologies.

As a result, many worry that a lack of the metal used in wires and batteries can hurt a transition to a green economy.

In this graphic, our sponsor, the Copper Development Association, explores how recycling can address the demand for copper.

Copper Scrap Recycled in the U.S.

In 2022, the total copper scrap recycled in the U.S. was approximately 830,000 tonnes, equivalent to 32% of the total U.S. copper supply for the same period. Around 670,000 tonnes (81%) originated from pre-consumer sources generated during manufacturing operations, while 160,000 tonnes (19%) came from post-consumer sources, such as obsolete products.

Brass and wire-rod mills accounted for the majority of the copper recycled from scrap (85%). Additionally, smelters, refiners, and ingot makers make 10% and chemical plants, foundries, and other manufacturers around 5%.

Copper from Scrap2022 Content (tonnes)
Brass and wire-rod mills650,000 t
Smelters and refiners40,000 t
Ingot makers39,500 t
Foundries, Other40,000 t

Despite the rising demand for copper, the U.S. predominantly exports its copper scrap.

In 2022, the U.S. exported half of the 1,569,000 tonnes of the copper content generated from scrap. This export trend persisted because, until recent years, the country lacked operating secondary copper smelters capable of processing complex scrap grades into furnace-ready raw materials.

However, reshoring this metal presents an opportunity for the country.

Tapping into the Urban Mine

North America currently has about 86 million tonnes (Mt) of copper in use, known as the Urban Mine. This copper will become available for recycling as aging infrastructure and products reach the end of their service lives:

  • Buildings: 45.4 Mt
  • Infrastructure: 16.1 Mt
  • Consumer Products: 11.2 Mt
  • Transport: 8.5 Mt
  • Industrial Uses: 4.8 Mt

Increased secondary smelting and refining capacity is a crucial building block for a more resilient and self-sufficient U.S. copper supply chain.

In response to the growing need for copper, the U.S. plans to add over 280,000 tonnes of secondary smelting and refining capacity in the next few years. This expansion will enable the country to process more complex scrap grades domestically.

Given that copper products can last for decades, creating a lag time before the material becomes available for recycling, primary production will continue to play an important role in meeting the increasing needs in the U.S.

The Copper Development Association (CDA) brings the value of copper and its alloys to society to address the challenges of today and tomorrow. Visit www.copper.org to learn more about why copper is a critical mineral.

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Why Copper Is Critical for Data Centers

Copper consumption for data centers in North America is estimated to jump from 197,000 tonnes in 2020 to 238,000 tonnes in 2030.

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Copper’s Critical Role in Data Centers

Why Copper Is Critical for Data Centers

Data centers are computer server hubs that collect, store, and process large amounts of data, requiring extensive network infrastructure and electric power supply.

As the North American data center market grows, copper will be a key building block in this infrastructure.

This infographic from the Copper Development Association illustrates the critical role of copper in data center development.

Copper in Technology

Much has been said about the growing demand for critical minerals like copper, nickel, and lithium for clean technologies such as batteries, EVs, solar, and wind power.

Copper, however, has a more extensive role in technology as it is used in wires that connect power grids and data centers around the planet.

As one of the best conductors of electricity, copper maximizes efficiency in the transmission and distribution of electricity. Its thermal conductivity also helps build efficient heat exchangers, which are vital for cooling in data centers.

The inherent ductility and malleability of copper make it ideal for shaping into compact system components, like electrical connectors. In addition, copper can be fully recycled without losing any beneficial properties, providing an excellent solution in a growing green economy.

Data centers use copper across various electrical applications, including:

  • Power cables
  • Busbars
  • Electrical connectors
  • Heat exchangers and sinks
  • Power distribution strips

To put the demand into perspective, Microsoft’s $500 million data center in Chicago required 2,177 tonnes of copper for construction.

North America’s Growing Need for Copper

With the rise of cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT), the North American data center market is expanding.

North American data center infrastructure is expected to grow from a $33 billion business in 2020 to $70 billion in 2030 and $185 billion in 2040.

This, in turn, will amplify the demand for copper. Copper consumption for data centers is estimated to jump from 197,000 tonnes in 2020 to 238,000 tonnes in 2030 and 293,000 tonnes in 2040.

The Copper Development Association (CDA) brings the value of copper and its alloys to society to address the challenges of today and tomorrow. Visit www.copper.org to learn more about copper’s critical role in data centers.

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