Oregon Minerals Industry
Minerals Industry Report for Oregon
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In 2007, Oregon’s nonfuel raw mineral production was valued at $493 million, based upon annual U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) data. This was a decrease of $43 million, or 8%, from the State’s total nonfuel mineral value of $536 million in 2006, which followed a $97 million, or 22%, increase from 2005 to 2006. The State ranked 36th among the 50 States in total nonfuel mineral production value.
Industrial minerals accounted for all of Oregon’s nonfuel raw mineral and raw mineral material production. Crushed stone, construction sand and gravel, and portland cement, in descending order of production value, remained the State’s leading nonfuel mineral commodities, followed by diatomite, crude perlite, pumice and pumicite, and gemstones. Construction sand and gravel and crushed stone accounted for nearly 74% of Oregon’s total nonfuel mineral production value, while the combined total of these seven mineral commodities accounted for more than 98% of the State’s total nonfuel raw mineral economy.
In 2007, despite increases that took place in the unit values of most of the State’s nonfuel mineral commodities, decreases in the quantities produced of a majority of the commodities led to the State’s overall decrease in nonfuel mineral production value. The largest decreases in value, in descending order, took place in crushed stone, construction sand and gravel, portland cement, and diatomite. Although crushed stone production marginally increased, its value of production decreased by $16 million, or down by nearly 8%. Decreases in the production of construction sand and gravel and portland cement resulted in decreases of about $12 million each in the mineral commodities’ production values. Also a smaller yet signifi cant decrease took place in the production value of diatomite. Increases in value took place only in lime, crude perlite, and gemstones. While not signifi cantly affecting the State’s overall change in value in 2007, gemstones continued its recent increasing trend. In 2007, the value of gemstone production rose nearly 16% to $2.15 million from $1.86 million in 2006, following a nearly 58% increase from $1.18 million in 2005 (table 1).
In 2007, Oregon continued to be second in the quantity of crude perlite produced as compared with other producing States, second in the production of gemstones (gemstones based upon value), and third in the production of diatomite. With a slightly more than 50% decrease in pumice and pumicite production, the State decreased in rank to fi fth from second in that mineral commodity. Additionally, Oregon remained a producer of signifi cant quantities of crushed stone, construction sand and gravel, and common clays. Besides the small increase in crushed stone production, only crude perlite had an increase in production in 2007, up by about 10%.