Aggregate production maintains steady growth in 2021
The production of aggregates has seen continuous gains throughout this year, according to data from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
Beginning in the first quarter of 2021, the output of construction aggregates produced and shipped for consumption was 464 million metric tons (Mt), a slight increase compared with that of the same period in 2020.
On Sept. 7, USGS released its second quarter Mineral Industry Survey results, which once again outplaced 2020 numbers. The survey results found that an estimated 694 million metric tons of construction aggregate were produced and shipped for consumption, a gradual increase from Q1.
The aggregate production total represents an increase of 7 percent compared with Q2 of 2020, says USGS.
The five leading states, in descending order of production for consumption, were Texas, California, Missouri, Florida and Pennsylvania. Their combined total production for consumption in the second quarter of 2021 increased by 5 percent to 200 Mt and represented 29 percent of the U.S. total.
Of the 694 million metric tons of construction aggregate produced in Q2, 415 million metric tons were crushed stone—a 4 percent increase compared with the same period in 2020. In addition, crushed stone production for consumption in the first half of 2021 increased by 3 percent compared with the first half of 2020.
For sand and gravel, the estimated output reached 279 million metric tons. USGS says this represented an increase of 11 percent when compared with Q2 of 2020. Sand and gravel production for consumption in the first six months of the year increased by 9 percent compared with the first half of last year.
This upwards trend in 2021 can be credited in part to an anticipated recovery from a dip in crushed stone production last year. As reported by Pit & Quarry, the nation’s crushed stone production decreased in 2020 for the first time since 2017 due to effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Crushed stone production (404 million metric tons) dropped 2.3 percent in the second quarter. Meanwhile, sand and gravel production (255 million metric tons) slipped nearly 5 percent compared with the second quarter of 2019.
Pandemic-related aftershocks carried through the third quarter, with crushed stone production (416 million metric tons) dropping 6 percent and sand and gravel production (290 million metric tons) down 4 percent compared with the third quarter of 2019.
As the nation begins to recover from pandemic-related impacts, some project that the mineral industry will maintain this growth.
Burgex Mining Consultants, a Sandy, Utah-based mining consultancy that provides market analysis and technical reports for clients in the mining and mineral exploration industry, forecasts that these production surges will continue for the next five years.
According to a Feb. 9 release, the company says it projects a 14 percent increase in U.S. aggregates production by the end of 2025, or an average annual increase of 2.7 percent year over year.