The United States has been endowed with a wealth of natural resources that have fostered its growth and development. Extraction of these resources and finding new deposits is the work of the mining industry. Mining continues to provide the foundation for local economies in many regions.
Products of the mining industry generate the majority of energy used in this country, from electricity in homes to fuel in vehicles. Mined resources also serve as inputs for consumer goods and the processes and services provided by nearly all other industries, particularly in agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, utilities, communication, and construction. Uses of mined materials include coal, oil, and gas for energy, copper for wiring, gold for satellites and sophisticated electronic components, stone and gravel for construction of roads and buildings, and a variety of other minerals as ingredients in medicines and household products.
The mining industry contains five main industry segments, which are defined by the resources they produce: oil and gas extraction, coal mining, metal ore mining, nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying, and support activities for mining.
The Handbook of Texas Online in its article, Mineral Resources and Mining, lists 61 ores, minerals and mineral products, which are found in Texas alone tshaonline.org./handbook/online/articles/gpm01.
The nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying industry segment covers a wide range of mineral extraction. The majority of the industry produces crushed stone, sand, and gravel for use in construction of roads and buildings. Other important minerals produced are clays, primarily for ceramics, water filtration, and cement making; gypsum, the primary material used in wallboard; salt, used in foodstuffs and as an ice remover; phosphate, for use in fertilizers; and sulfur, the main component of sulfuric acid, a major industrial input. Most of these minerals are found in abundance close to the surface, so underground mining is uncommon in this industry segment.
Surface mining for stone is also known as "quarrying". In quarrying operations, workers use machines to extract the stone. Stone—primarily granite and limestone—is quarried by using explosives to break material off from a massive rock surface. The resulting rocks are crushed further and shipped off for the production of asphalt or concrete. Some high-quality stone, such as marble and certain types of granite, is quarried in large blocks, known as dimension stone, and used as a building material by itself.
Not to be overlooked in this listing is water, one of our most valuable natural resources. By strict definition, exploring for water is mining. With the severe draughts we have been experiencing in many areas of our country, it is widely believed that water will be one of our most sought after commodities and delivering it to market will be a highly profitable and exciting business in the U.S. in the not too distant future. The growing popularity of mineral waters is another component of this market.
Record prices for uranium, gold and other metals are sparking a surge in mining claims near the Colorado River. Mining claims within 10 miles of the Colorado, which winds through five states on its 1,450 mile course, from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California in northwester Mexico increased from 2,568 in January 2003 to 5,545 in January 2008, according to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) records. In that period, mining claims within five miles of the River nearly tripled from 395 to 1,195. www.mcilvainecompany.com/industryforecast/mining.
Global mining deals topped $US71 billion in the first half of 2011, making it a record start to any year but activity is tipped to bring more investment in the second half of the year as nervous financial markets lead to lower valuations. The US dominated the activity, whereas Australia, Canada and Britain were more conservative than in previous years. theaustralian.com.au/business/mergers-acquisitions/mining.
If you are interested in exploring this under developed US industry, Land and Mineral.com puts your ownership information in front of interested investors who are eager to talk to you about mining possibilities on your land.