Minnesota Minerals Industry
Minerals Industry Report for Minnesota
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In 2007, Minnesota’s nonfuel raw mineral production was valued at $2.69 billion, based upon annual U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) data. This was a $150 million, or 5.9%, increase from the State’s total nonfuel mineral value for 2006, which had increased by $350 million, or 16%, from 2005 to 2006. Minnesota continued to rank eighth among the 50 States in total nonfuel mineral production value, and the State accounted for nearly 4% of the U.S. total. [Because data for common clays (2006–07), industrial sand and gravel and lime have been withheld (company proprietary data), the actual total values for 2005–07 were noticeably higher than those reported in table 1.]
Minnesota continued to be the Nation’s leading iron ore-producing State in 2007, and based upon value of production, iron ore continued to be the State’s leading nonfuel mineral, accounting for slightly more than 86% of its total nonfuel mineral production value. Iron ore was followed by construction sand and gravel, crushed stone, industrial sand and gravel, lime, dimension stone, peat, common clays, and gemstones (in descending order of value). In 2007, for the fourth consecutive year, the State’s substantial increase in nonfuel raw mineral production value largely resulted from iron ore’s considerably higher average price per metric ton (t) compared with that of 2006. In 2007, despite a 4% decrease in the shipments of usable iron ore, the mineral commodity’s value increased by $160 million, or by more than 7%, compared with that of 2006, following the same trend as in 2005 and 2006 (table 1). In 2005 and 2006, the commodity’s value increased by $270 million (up 17%) and more than $330 million (up 18%), respectively, compared with the values for the previous year. In 2005, iron ore production shipments increased slightly and in 2006 it decreased slightly compared with the previous year’s production shipments. A significant increase in value also took place in the value of industrial sand and gravel. The largest decrease in value took place in the production of crushed stone, down by $7 million, while construction sand and gravel was down by about $1 million (table 1).
In 2007, Minnesota continued to rank first among other producing States in the quantity of iron ore produced and fifth in the production of construction sand and gravel. The State rose in rank to fifth from sixth in industrial sand and gravel production, decreased to fourth from second in that of peat, and was a producer of significant quantities of crushed stone.