Florida - Mining



According to the US Geological Survey, Florida's estimated nonfuel mineral production in 2001 was valued at nearly $1.75 billion (fifth among the states and about 4.5% of the US total). This was a decrease of about 4% from the amount reported in 2000. The phosphate industry usually has the greatest impact on the state's nonfuel mineral economy, and exports of phosphate fertilizers are important to the industry's vitality. The decrease in value in 2001 resulted from lower export sales and prices due to the opening of new phosphoric acid and diammonium phosphate (DAP) plants in Asia. The largest foreign consumers of Florida phosphate are China, India, and the countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Rising phosphate production has led to increased employment in the sector.

Florida leads the nation in phosphate rock, masonry cement, and peat output and ranks among the top three states in crushed stone and masonry cement production. It is also the only state producing rutile concentrates and staurolite. Phosphate rock is the leading mineral commodity in terms of value. Phosphate rock, crushed stone, portland and masonry cement, and construction sand and gravel, together with ilmenite and rutile, accounted for about 94% of the state's nonfuel mineral value in 2001. The state continued as the world's leader in phosphate rock production and led the nation in heavy-mineral output. Florida supplies 25% of the world's and 75% of the nation's phosphate, and five times as much as the next leading state. Crushed stone (90 million metric tons produced, value of $494 million) was the 2nd-leading mineral commodity. Ranking 3rd was Portland cement (4 million metric tons, $305 million). Sand, gravel, and clays rounded out the top five commodities in terms of reportable value.



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