Mines off all kinds across the U.S. produced an estimated $74.6 billion of raw mineral materials in 2016, a slight increase from 2015, the U.S. Geological Survey announced Tuesday.
The report said Minnesota was the fifth largest producer of mineral value in the nation, including taconite iron ore but also sand, gravel and stone, totaling $3.27 billion.
Nevada was the top minerals producer - with copper, gold and silver adding to the value of stone, sand and gravel - at $7.65 billion in 2016.
The USGS report reiterated what northern Minnesota residents already know; that the decline in global steel demand and prices in 2015 and 2016 spurred a decline in demand for U.S. steel and thus an 11 percent decline in U.S. iron ore production compared to 2015.
The U.S. produced 40.8 million tons of iron ore in 2016, all of it from Minnesota and Michigan, down from 46 million in 2015 and 56.1 million tons in 2014.
The report notes that U.S. iron ore production in 2016 amounted to just 2 percent of all global iron ore production.
Steel production picked up in late 2016, however, and has spurred increased demand for Minnesota iron ore. The American Iron and Steel Institute reported Monday that U.S. steel production was up 8 percent last week from the same week in 2016 and up 6.4 percent so far this year compared to last year.
The U.S. produced 13 different mineral commodities in 2016 worth more than $1 billion each. The estimated value of total U.S. industrial minerals production in 2016 was $51.6 billion, 5 percent more than 2015.
While the report looks at mineral commodities across the nation, eleven states each produced more than $2 billion worth of mineral commodities in 2016 including Nevada, Arizona, Texas, California, Minnesota, Florida, Alaska, Michigan, Wyoming, Missouri and Utah.
The 40th annual Mineral Commodity Summaries Report includes statistics on more than 88 minerals that are important to the U.S. economy and national security. The report identifies events, trends and issues in the domestic and international minerals industries.
Steven M. Fortier, director of the USGS National Minerals Information Center, said the added value of mining into finished products such as steel, aerospace and electronics created an estimated $2.8 trillion in value added products in 2016, a full 15 percent to the total U.S. gross domestic product.
Fortier said a key finding from the report is that the U.S. was 100 percent import reliant on 20 different minerals in 2016, including rare earths like manganese and niobium, which are among a suite of materials often designated as "critical" or "strategic" because they are essential to the economy or military and their supply into the U.S. may be disrupted. That's up from 11 commodities that were 100 percent imported in 1984.
In other key areas, U.S. production of primary aluminum decreased for the fourth consecutive year, declining nearly 47 percent from 2015 to 2016 to the lowest level since 1951. A warm winter lead to a 7 percent decline in salt mining.
Michigan ranked 8th in minerals value produced, Wisconsin 16th, South Dakota 40th and North Dakota 45th.
The survey does not include fuels that are mined, such as coal.