Non-Metal Mining & Quarrying

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 2,700 non-metal mining companies in the US develop mine sites, extract non-metallic minerals from mines, and process the minerals mechanically through beneficiation (crushing, grinding, washing, separating, and concentrating) or by using chemical or electrochemical techniques. Products include dimensional stone blocks or slabs, crushed or broken stone, sand and gravel, clay, and minerals such as potash, soda, borate, sodium, potassium, and phosphate.

Environmental Impacts Of Extraction

During operation, mining companies must control soil erosion and prevent runoff that could contaminate nearby bodies of water.

Injuries and Fatalities Drive Regulation

The mining industry has a high injury and fatality rate.

Industry size & Structure

The average non-metal mining company operates out of one to two locations, has about $57 million in annual revenue, and employs about 33 workers.

    • The non-metal mining industry consists of about 2,700 firms that employ 99,700 workers and generate about $156 billion annually.
    • Major industry segments include dimensional and crushed stone mining and quarrying; sand and gravel quarrying and dredging; and clay, ceramic, refractory, and other nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying.
    • About 71% of establishments have fewer than 20 employees.
    • Most companies operate only one or two mine sites at a time, due to the large capital investment in equipment needed for extraction and processing.
    • Large US companies include Martin Marietta Materials, The Mosaic Company, Compass Minerals International, Intrepid Potash, and United States Lime & Minerals.
                                      Industry Forecast
                                      Non-Metal Mining & Quarrying Industry Growth
                                      Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                      Recent Developments

                                      Jan 27, 2024 - Price Increases Eased in 2023
                                      • Producer prices for non-metal mining and quarrying firms were relatively flat (up just 1%) in 2023, after rising 10% in 2022. Overall employment by non-metal mining and quarrying firms was up 5.4% for the year while average industry wages rose to a new high of $31 per hour in November. Mining capacity utilization and industrial production rose in 2023.
                                      • As of January 19, 2024, the US Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) required mine operators to have written safety programs for surface mobile equipment, excluding belt conveyors, at surface mines and the surface areas of underground mines, Coal Age reports. MSHA’s final rule requires that mine operators develop programs, implement them, and update them when necessary. Moreover, the written safety program must be developed and updated with input from miners and their representatives and include actions mine operators will take to identify hazards and risks to reduce accidents, injuries, and fatalities related to surface mobile equipment. In recent years, powered haulage equipment and machinery have been the leading causes of serious and fatal mine accidents. The mining industry had its deadliest year in a decade in 2023, as 40 miners died in accidents across the US. Compliance with MSHA’s final rule is not required until July 17, 2024.
                                      • A bipartisan bill to encourage the cleanup of abandoned hardrock mines will benefit wildlife, public lands and waters, local communities, and outdoor recreationists, according to the National Wildlife Federation. The Good Samaritan Remediation of Abandoned Hardrock Mines Act of 2023, reintroduced in September, is also drawing support from the National Mining Association. “If there is one place where the mining industry, environmental organizations, elected officials, and local communities should be aligned, it is on the cleanup of legacy mine sites that were abandoned decades ago,” said Rich Nolan, CEO of the NMA. The bill removes liability provisions that have hampered the cleanup operations by conservation and other “good Samaritan” organizations such as state agencies, local governments, nonprofits, and other groups. The US has over 140,000 abandoned hardrock mine features, of which 22,500 pose environmental hazards according to the General Accounting Office.
                                      • Mining of the ocean floor has been delayed after the International Seabed Authority (ISA) concluded in July that it needed more time to finalize mining rules, The New York Times reports. The ISA, established under the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, is charged with coming up with a regulatory framework for deep-sea mining. Mining companies and startups were hoping to begin industrial-scale mining of the seabed for metals used in batteries for electric cars as soon as this year. Opposition from environmentalists and several countries contributed to the delay. Costa Rica, Chile and France advocated for delaying the start of deep-sea mining until regulations are finalized. The length of the delay is unknown. Opponents of seabed mining say the delay will give them time to enlist additional countries that want to see a long-term pause or even an outright moratorium on the practice.
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