Arizona Minerals Industry
Minerals Industry Report for Arizona
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In 2007, Arizona’s nonfuel raw mineral production was valued at $7.26 billion, based upon annual U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) data. This was a $510 million, or 7.6%, increase from the State’s total nonfuel mineral value in 2006, which then had increased by $2.4 billion, or up more than 55%, from that of 2005. In 2007, for the third consecutive year, Arizona led the Nation in total nonfuel mineral production value among the 50 States, accounting for 10.4% of the U.S. total.
Arizona continued to be the Nation’s leading copper producing State in 2007 and accounted for 63% of the total U.S. copper mine production. Copper was the State’s foremost nonfuel mineral produced, accounting for nearly 73% of the total nonfuel mineral production value, followed in descending order of value by molybdenum, construction sand and gravel (with 9% of the State’s total value), cement (portland and masonry) (data withheld—company proprietary data), crushed stone (about 2% of the value) (table 1), and lime (data withheld—company proprietary data). In 2007, Arizona’s significant increase in value primarily resulted from the increased values of copper, molybdenum, portland cement, and crushed stone. A 3% increase in copper production, and a 4% increase in the average unit value of copper resulted in a 7%, or $340 million, increase in the commodity’s production value. The value of molybdenum production increased by more than $110 million, its total value up nearly 20% from that of 2006. Significant increases in unit values of portland cement and crushed stone resulted in a rise of their total values by about $30 million, and $24 million, respectively. Smaller yet significant increases also took place in the values (descending order of change) of silver, salt, and gold (value changes withheld— company proprietary data). The value of gemstones rose by 25%, up by $390,000 and had only a marginal effect on the overall change in the State’s total value. The largest decreases in value took place in the production values of construction sand and gravel (down by $10 million), lime, and crude gypsum (value change withheld—company proprietary data).
In 2007, Arizona remained third in the production of molybdenum, construction sand and gravel, gemstones (gemstones ranking based upon value), and crude perlite and sixth in that of silver and dimension stone (dimension sandstone). The State decreased in rank in the production of three nonfuel mineral commodities—to 2d from 1st in pumice and pumicite, to 5th from 4th in zeolites, and to 10th from 9th in crude gypsum. Additionally, the State continued to be a significant producer of (in descending order of value) portland cement, crushed stone, and lime.