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AMERICA'S GLOBAL DEPENDENCY FOR NEARLY EVERYTHING
Thursday, January 28, 2010
The most valuable mineral commodity
Here’s a hint: it’s not iron ore, not lead, not gold. It’s not silver, aluminum, or copper.
The most valuable mineral commodity was worth more than $13 billion in the U.S. in 2008, but its average price was just $8.98 for a ton. We used almost 1½ billion tons of this common stuff, and had to import a bit (just 2%) of what we used, mostly from Canada, Mexico, and the Bahamas.
Every state produces it, from more than 4,000 sites operated by more than 1,600 companies employing more than 80,000 workers. Texas, Pennsylvania, and Missouri are the top three producing states.
This most valuable material declined in use by a third from 2006 to 2009, a statistic that may suggest that its uses relate to factors affected by the recession. Indeed, the greatest use reported for the commodity is in construction, mostly road construction and repair. What is it? Crushed stone.