About the blog: What Things Are Made Of


The United States relies on imports for dozens of commodities in everyday use. Often enough, that reliance is 100%. In this book I aim to provide awareness of the hidden geology and mineralogy behind common things, and to develop an appreciation for the global resource distribution that underpins our society. While concerns about oil import reliance are in the news every day, our needs for other minerals are comparable and are typically unknown even to technologically aware Americans.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

State rankings

Based on the search words, a fair number of people want to know what the most valuable mineral commodity is for individual states. The following list gives the top 25 states in terms of their contribution to total US non-fuel mineral production for 2010. The percentage of each state's mineral production of the total is given, followed by the mineral commodity that is most valuable in that state. Thus Nevada is #1 in the US, with 12% of the US total, and gold is the most valuable non-fuel mineral commodity in Nevada. Data from USGS.

1 Nevada (12% of US total) gold
2 Arizona (10%) copper
3 Utah (7%) copper
4 Minnesota (6%) iron ore
5 Alaska (5%) zinc
6 California (4%) sand and gravel
7 Texas (4%) crushed stone
8 Missouri (3%) cement
9 Florida (3%) phosphate rock
10 Michigan (3%) iron ore
11 Colorado (3%) molybdenum
12 Wyoming (3%) soda ash
13 Pennsylvania (2%) crushed stone
14 Georgia (2%) clays
15 New York (2%) salt
16 Idaho (2%) molybdenum
17 Montana (2%) copper
18 Ohio (2%) crushed stone
19 Kansas (2%) helium
20 New Mexico (2%) copper
21 Alabama (2%) crushed stone
22 Virginia (1.5%) crushed stone
23 Illinois (1%) crushed stone
24 North Carolina (1%) crushed stone
25 Indiana (1%) crushed stone

I'll list the second 25 in a future post.


EcoRover said...

Wow, so much for being "The Treasure State"?

Richard Gibson said...

Yup... Montana has actually moved up a lot in the ranks, from #31 a few years ago. Platinum and palladium were the #1 and #2 in value for the state until 2005 when moly took over, and I think copper and moly have been #1 and #2 since then.