The U.S. Geological Survey has announced that U.S. mines produced around $82.3 billion of minerals in 2020, a reduction on the $83.7 billion extracted the year before. Despite the decline, the performance was still positive given the havoc Covid-19 has wreaked on the U.S. economy. While U.S. mining operations were not subject to stay-at-home orders in 2020 because they were deemed criticial industries, demand from downstream industries did decrease which led to reduced production in some cases.
The estimated value of metals production climbed three percent to $27.7 billion, mainly as a result of price increases for precious metals. One such example is gold which reached a record-high price of $2,060 per troy ounce last August. Gold (38%), copper (27%), iron ore (15%) and zinc (6%) were the primary contributors to the total production value of U.S. metal in 2020. Industrial mineral production totaled $54.6 billion, of which $27 billion was construction aggregates production like sand, gravel and crushed stone. Even though the U.S. mining figures may seem impressive, the country is still highly reliant on foreign sources for raw and processed minerals with imports making up more than half of U.S. consumption of 46 key nonfuel mineral commodities.
Every single U.S. state contributed to the total dollar value of America's mineral mix last year and 12 mined more than $2 billion worth. Nevada in particular is well known for mining and it is home to the world's most lucrative gold mine which unearths around 116 tons of the stuff every year. Nevada contributed just over $9 billion to U.S. mineral production last year and it was followed by Arizona and Texas with approximately $7 billion and $6 billion, respectively.