Minnesota has been named a top five mining state for nonfuel mineral commodities for the year 2018, the Iron Mining Association of Minnesota (IMA) announced. The U.S. Geological Survey’s National Minerals Information Center ranked states by 2018 value of nonfuel mineral production, including iron ore and other commodities such as sand, gravel and stone.

“Minnesota’s iron mining industry has been a national leader for generations, and we are thrilled to be recognized as a top mining state,” said Kelsey Johnson, IMA president. “Mining remains an essential component of our economy, and this ranking provides Minnesotans with one more reason to be proud of our state.” 

Minnesota’s nonfuel mining value reached over $4 billion in 2018, making up nearly five percent of the nation’s total nonfuel mineral output value. Nevada, Arizona, Texas and California led in rankings, all with values ranging from $5.5 billion to $7.9  billion. Together, they produced more than 35 percent of thecountry’s total nonfuel mineral output value in 2018.

Wisconsin and Michigan were ranked among the top 12 producers, all of which produced more than $2 billion of nonfuel commodities. According to the survey, iron mines in Minnesota and Michigan shipped 98 percent of the useable iron ore produced in the U.S.

“Around the world, people rely on steel for cars, appliances, infrastructure and more. American steel wouldn’t be possible without Minnesota iron,” Johnson said. 

From 2017 to 2018, iron ore production and domestic raw steel production increased nationally as a result of increased steel mill capacity, increased import duties on steel articles after the section 232 investigation and higher steel demand.