South Carolina Minerals Industry
Minerals Industry Report for South Carolina
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In 2007, South Carolina’s nonfuel raw mineral production was valued at $789 million, based upon annual U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) data. This was a $62 million, or an 8.5%, increase from the State’s total nonfuel mineral value of $727 million in 2006, which was up by $68 million, or 10.3%, from 2005 to 2006. South Carolina rose to 26th from 29th in rank among the 50 States in total nonfuel mineral production value and accounted for more than 1% of the U.S. total. [Because data for crushed marble (2005), crude mica, and crude vermiculite have been withheld (company proprietary data), the actual total value for the State is somewhat higher than that reported in table 1.]
A large majority of South Carolina’s nonfuel mineral production resulted from the mining and production of construction minerals and materials. In 2007, cement (portland and masonry), by value of production, remained the State’s leading nonfuel mineral commodity followed by crushed stone and construction sand and gravel. These three mineral commodities accounted for nearly 95% of the State’s total nonfuel mineral value, followed, in descending order of value, by industrial sand and gravel, kaolin, crude vermiculite, and common clays.
In 2006, cement led the State’s increase in value with an overall increase in the combined values of portland and masonry cement of about $52 million (portland separately, up by $61 million). An overall more than 7% increase in cement production helped lead to a more than 14% increase in the combined mineral commodity’s value. Despite decreases in the production of crushed stone and construction sand and gravel, the production value of those mineral commodities rose by about $6 million each. Also up in production and value was vermiculite, the value of which was up by $1 million. With significant production decreases in common clay and fire clay, each of the clays also were down in value, by a combined $2.2 million. Mica production and its production value also decreased, slightly (table1).
In 2007, South Carolina, of two producing States, continued to rank first in the quantities of vermiculite that it produced, and it remained second in the production of kaolin clay, third in masonry cement, fourth in crude mica, and eighth in the production of portland cement. Fire clay production decreased by about 38%, and the State remained fourth of four fire clayproducing States. Even though the production of common clay decreased by nearly 17%, the State increased to eighth from ninth in the national ranking of that mineral commodity. Additionally, the State continued to produce significant quantities of crushed stone, construction sand and gravel, and industrial sand and gravel, as compared with other producing States. Primary aluminum and raw steel also were produced in the State but from raw materials acquired from foreign and other domestic sources. Although primary aluminum production decreased only marginally, South Carolina decreased in rank to seventh from fi fth of 11 States in its production in 2007.