New Mexico Minerals Industry
Minerals Industry Report for New Mexico
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In 2007, New Mexico’s nonfuel raw mineral production was valued at $1.56 billion, based upon annual U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) data. This was an $80 million, or more than 5%, increase from the State’s total nonfuel mineral value for 2006, which had increased by nearly $330 million, or up nearly 29%, from 2005 to 2006. The State continued to be 15th in rank among the 50 States in total nonfuel mineral production value and accounted for more than 2% of the U.S. total. Yet, per capita, the State ranked 7th in the Nation in its minerals industry’s value of nonfuel mineral production; with a population of about 1.97 million, the value of production was about $793 per capita.
The top nonfuel minerals in 2007 were, by value of production, copper and potash, followed by construction sand and gravel, molybdenum concentrates, and cement (portland and masonry). These accounted for nearly 94% of the State’s total nonfuel raw mineral production value. Copper continued to be the State’s leading nonfuel mineral produced in 2007, accounting for 50% of the State’s total nonfuel mineral production value. Copper has led for 37 of the past 40 years (from 1968 through 2007). Potash (reported as potassium salts prior to 1990) was the State’s leading nonfuel mineral in the early 1950s through 1967, in 1982, and in 2002–03.
In 2007, substantial increases in the production values of potash and molybdenum concentrates (descending order of change), up by a combined value of approximately $70 million, led the State’s increase in value for the year. These increases resulted primarily from increases in their unit values but also from increases in their production. Smaller yet significant increases also took place in the values of crushed stone (up by $6 million), portland cement, and salt, while decreases took place in the mineral commodities of pumice and pumicite, gold, and crude gypsum (table 1). The average unit values of all of the mineral commodities increased except for those of crude gypsum, pumice and pumicite, and dimension stone.
In 2007, New Mexico continued to lead the Nation in the quantities of potash, crude perlite, and zeolites produced (descending order of value) and remained third in copper, sixth in molybdenum concentrates, eighth of 10 gold-producing States, and eighth in silver as compared with production in other States. The State increased in rank to 3rd from fifth in pumice and pumicite production and to 9th from 10th in that of crude gypsum. Additionally, New Mexico was a significant producer of construction sand and gravel.