Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Arizona #1 mining state again

Arizona was the largest mineral producing state in the nation again in 2006 according to the Mineral Commodity Summary report recently released by the U.S. Geological Survey (http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/mcs/2007/mcs2007.pdf)

Arizona’s raw non-fuel minerals (i.e., excluding fuel minerals such as coal and uranium) were valued last year at $6,710,000, equal to 10.42% of all the non-fuel minerals produced in the U.S. The major minerals in Arizona were copper, molybdenum concentrates, sand and gravel (construction), cement (portland), lime.

The value of copper production was up 97% over 2005, and is largely responsible for pushing Arizona ahead of recent leader Nevada. Nevada was second at $5,240,000 (8.14% of the total U.S. production), but their leading mineral is gold, which rose a still robust 68%.

Interestingly, the U.S. imported 40% of our copper needs last year. Combined with China’s announcement that they will build their copper reserves over the next 4 years along with other key minerals, indicates that global demand for copper will remain strong. This is likely to stoke continued exploration and development activity across Arizona.

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