Each chapter of the 2017 edition of the USGS Mineral Commodity Summaries includes information on events, trends, and issues for each mineral commodity as well as discussions and tabular presentations on domestic industry structure, Government programs, tariffs, 5-year salient statistics, and world production and resources. The MCS is the earliest comprehensive source of 2016 mineral production data for the world. More than 90 individual minerals and materials are covered by two-page synopses. For mineral commodities for which there is a Government stockpile, detailed information concerning the stockpile status is included in the two-page synopsis.
In 2016, the estimated value of total nonfuel mineral production in the United States of $74.6 billion was a slight increase from the revised total of $73.4 billion in 2015. Increased construction activity spurred increased production of industrial minerals, especially those used in infrastructure and residential construction. Although starting the year relatively low, prices for several metals, especially for some of the precious metals, began to trend upward. Decreased production of most metals produced in the United States, however, contributed to an overall decline in the value of metal production. Several U.S. metal mines and processing facilities were idled or closed permanently in 2016, including iron ore mines in Michigan and Minnesota; three primary aluminum smelters in Indiana, Missouri, and Washington; one secondary zinc smelter in North Carolina; a titanium sponge facility in Utah, the only such facility in the United States; and titanium mineral operations in Virginia. In addition, in May, the weekly average rig count for oil and gas drilling reached its lowest level since the 1940s when that measurement was first recorded. The reduced drilling activity resulted in decreased production of some industrial mineral products used in the drilling sector.