The Super Bowl in Phoenix tomorrow may be getting most of the attention this week but in the mining industry, Arizona just moved into the championship role.
Arizona is the #1 mineral-producing state (non-fuel) in the U.S. for 2014, according to a new report from the US Geological Survey. The 2015 Mineral Commodities Summary reports that Arizona produced $8.06 billion worth of minerals in 2014, or 10.38% of all non-fuel minerals in the nation, with the principal minerals being, in order, copper, molybdenum concentrates, sand and gravel (construction), cement (portland), stone (crushed). [Right, copper plate ready to be shipped. Credit, Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold] Arizona production was up $520 million over 2013.
Nevada, which had been the top producer for the past few years, came in second with $7.490 billion or 9.66% of the national production, led by gold, copper, silver, lime, and diatomite. This is a drop of over $1.5 billion from the previous year.
Arizona produces about two-thirds of the copper used in the US, and even though prices dropped over last year to the lowest in five years, the drop in price of gold had an even bigger impact on Nevada's industry.
The USGS Minerals Commodity Summary is compiled from information provided by State Geological Surveys and others, including AZGS.
[update 2-3-15, 0820: due to a typo, the original post stated production amounts were millions instead of billions of dollars. Thanks to the anonymous reader for catching the error]