UGS Circular 134: Utah Mining 2021
By Stephanie Mills, Andrew Rupke, Michael Vanden Berg, and Taylor Boden
PIO, Utah Geological Survey
PRESS RELEASE: Utah Mining Report finds total Extractive Resource Value up 46% from 2020
Salt Lake City (Sept. 14, 2022) – The Utah Geological Survey has published the 2021 Utah Mining Report, a comprehensive compilation of the production and value of Utah’s mining industry, including metals, industrial minerals and coal.
“Mining is a significant contributor to Utah’s economy,” said Stephanie Mills, senior geologist with the Utah Geological Survey and primary author of the report. “In 2021, Utah’s total extractive resource value, including oil and gas, was estimated at $7.8 billion (up 46% from 2020), with mining representing 58% of the total.”
Highlights of the report:
- Utah produced five critical minerals (beryllium, lithium, magnesium metal, platinum, and palladium), and two other critical minerals have or are planned to commence production in 2022 (fluorspar and tellurium). (As designated by the U.S. Department of the Interior, critical minerals are essential to the nation’s economy or national security and vulnerable to supply chain disruption.) Utah remains the only state to produce magnesium metal, beryllium concentrate, potassium sulfate, and uintaite (Gilsonite®). Utah is also one of only two states producing lithium.
- Great Salt Lake remains an important mineral resource for magnesium metal, potassium sulfate, lithium and salt. An estimated $540 million of production came from the lake in 2021, not including some byproducts.
- Base metal production had a value of $2.2 billion and includes copper, magnesium, beryllium, molybdenum and iron. Copper alone accounted for 34% ($1.5 billion) of Utah’s mining production value and 20% of Utah’s total extractive resource production value. Base metal value increased 45% in 2021 due to increased metal prices and copper production.
- Precious metals produced in Utah include gold and silver, and 2021 production was valued at $410 million. Precious metal production value increased 14% from 2020 to 2021.
- The estimated value of industrial mineral (construction aggregate, salt, potash, cement, lime, phosphate, lithium, gypsum, etc.) production in 2021 was $1.5 billion, an 8.7% increase over 2020. The most valuable industrial mineral group was the construction aggregate (sand and gravel and crushed stone) group, valued at $490 million.
The U.S. Geological Survey ranked Utah as 7th nationally for producing nonfuel minerals, which includes metals and industrial minerals. Utah has been in the top 10 for the last decade.
Utah Mining 2021 (UGS Circular 134) is available as a free download. The report can also be purchased at the Natural Resources Map & Bookstore, located at 1594 West North Temple, Salt Lake City, (801) 537-3320 or 1-888-UTAHMAP.
The Utah Geological Survey provides timely scientific information about Utah’s geological environment, resources, and hazards.