fbpx

Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

Minnesota Now Fifth-Largest Mining State, It Could Have Been Number Two

According to the United States Geological Survey, Minnesota mined $4.05 billion in non-fuel minerals in 2018, making it the fifth-largest state for mining, in terms of the value of minerals sold (excluding coal, oil, natural gas, and uranium). This is after Minnesota was in sixth place last year.

Few people in the Twin Cities metro realize just how important mining is to Minnesota’s economy, and to the nation’s security. In 2018, mines in Minnesota and Michigan shipped 98% of the usable iron ore products in the United States with an estimated value of $4.1 billion. Minnesota has traditionally accounted for approximately 75 percent of the iron ore mined in the United States, and iron ore from Minnesota accounts for about 2 percent of global iron ore supplies.

As impressive as Minnesota’s mining numbers currently are, they should be much bigger. In fact, if Minnesota were to have developed it’s copper, nickel, platinum, palladium, cobalt, and titanium deposits, it would have added an additional $3.5 billion in non-fuel mineral sales in 2018. Had this been the case, Minnesota would have been the second largest mining state in the country, with Nevada only narrowly beating out the Land of 10,000 Lakes as top dog in terms of the value of mined minerals.

Other Minnesota tidbits from the Minerals Commodity Summary from 2019 are listed below:

Cobalt: Identified cobalt resources of the United States are estimated to be about 1 million tons. Most of these resources are in Minnesota, but other important occurrences are in Alaska, California, Idaho, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. We can either mine cobalt in Minnesota, or allow it to be mined by 40,000 children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Nickel: In 2018, the underground Eagle Mine in Michigan produced approximately 19,000 tons of nickel in concentrate, which was exported to smelters in Canada and overseas. The mine continued development of the Eagle East extension, with first production expected in 2020. In November, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced that it had issued permits for a mining project in the northeastern part of the State.

Platinum-Group Metals: One company in Montana produced about 18,100 kilograms of platinum-group metals (PGMs) with an estimated value of about $570 million. Small quantities of primary PGMs also were recovered as byproducts of copper-nickel mining in Minnesota; however, this material was sold to foreign companies for refining. I’m not sure if USGS meant Michigan here, but Minnesota has some of the largest undeveloped PGM deposits in the world.

Sand and Gravel (Industrial): Minnesota was the 5th-largest producer of industrial sand in 2018. Demand for industrial sand has increased as American oil and gas production has surged. The United States is now the largest producer of both oil and natural gas in the world thanks to the fracking revolution, and Minnesota sand helps meet the demand these operations have for sand.

 

Comments

Subscribe

Categories

Upcoming Events

  • Morning in Minnesota Breakfast: St. Cloud

    Location: Coyote Moon Grille 480 55th Ave SE, St. Cloud, MN 56304

    Please join Center of the American Experiment on Wednesday, October 16that Coyote Moon Grille for breakfast with Center policy fellow and energy expert, Isaac Orr. Following his discussion of his new report, “Doubling Down on Failure,” Isaac will be joined by a panel of local leaders for a conversation about renewable energy standards in Minnesota. Wednesday, October 16, 2019 Coyote Moon Grille, 480 55th Ave SE, St. Cloud, MN 56304 7:30 AM Breakfast & Check-in 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude Free, RSVP Here

    Register Now
  • Morning in Minnesota Breakfast: Mankato

    Location: Mankato Golf Club, 100 August Drive, Mankato, MN 56002

    Please join Center of the American Experiment on Thursday, October 17that the Mankato Golf Club for breakfast with Center economist, John Phelan, as he discusses Minnesota’s economic future. Thursday, October 17, 2019 Mankato Golf Club 100 August Drive, Mankato, MN 56002 7:30 AM Breakfast & Check-in 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude Free, RSVP Here

    Register Now
  • Morning in Minnesota Breakfast: Alexandria

    Location: Alexandria Golf Club 2300 North Nokomis Northeast Alexandria, MN 56308

    Please join Center of the American Experiment on Wednesday, September 25th at the Alexandria Golf Club for breakfast with Center policy fellow and education expert, Catrin Wigfall, as she explains the Center’s “Great Jobs Without a Four-Year Degree” project. Following her presentation on workforce development issues, Catrin will be joined by a panel of local leaders to discuss how Alexandria can better attract and retain young talent. Wednesday, September 25, 2019 Alexandria Golf Club 2300 North Nokomis NE, Alexandria, MN 56308 8:00 AM Breakfast & Check-in 8:30 AM Presentation 9:30 AM Conclude Free, RSVP Here

    Register Now