Washington Minerals Industry
Minerals Industry Report for Washington
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In 2007, Washington’s nonfuel raw mineral production was valued at $748 million, based upon annual U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) data. This was a 1.5% decrease of $11 million from that of 2006, which was up nearly 19%, or by $121 million, from that of 2005. For the fourth consecutive year, the State was 30th in rank among the 50 States in total nonfuel raw mineral production value and accounted for more than 1% of the U.S. total value.
In 2007, based upon production value, Washington’s leading nonfuel mineral commodities were, in descending order of value, construction sand and gravel, crushed stone, portland cement, zinc, and lime; the two aggregate commodities accounted for nearly 66% of the State’s total nonfuel mineral value. The largest increase in production value that took place in 2007 was in the value of portland cement, up by more than $25 million. This was followed by construction sand and gravel with a $9 million increase in value, despite a 6% decrease in production. A smaller yet significant increase also took place in the value of lead, which had an even higher percentage of decrease in production. However, these increases were slightly more than offset by decreases, in descending order, in the values of zinc, diatomite, crushed stone, and lime. A small to moderate decrease in the production of zinc resulted in a more than $20 million decrease in the mineral commodity’s production value, and the cessation of significant diatomite production led to a decrease in value of more than $10 million in that mineral commodity. Also down in value were crushed stone and lime, by about $7 million each (table 1).
In 2006, Washington continued to be first in the quantities of olivine produced of two producing States, third in the production of zinc, and third in the production of cadmium as a byproduct of zinc production from zinc concentrates. The State decreased to fifth from fourth in lead production and to seventh from sixth in the production of construction sand and gravel, and it was a producer of significant quantities of crushed stone, portland cement, and industrial sand and gravel. Primary aluminum and raw steel also were produced in Washington, but both metals were processed from materials acquired from foreign and other domestic sources. In 2007, with an estimated increase in production of more than 30%, the State rose to fourth from eighth in rank of 11 primary aluminum-producing States.