2016 aggregate production statistics

By |  May 29, 2017

Crushed stone

In 2016, 1.48 billion tons of crushed stone valued at more than $16.2 billion was produced by 1,430 companies operating 3,700 quarries, 82 underground mines, and 187 sales and distribution yards in 50 states. Leading states were, in descending order of production, Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida, Missouri, Ohio, North Carolina, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois and New York, which together accounted for more than half of the total crushed stone output.

Of the total domestic crushed stone produced in 2016, about 70 percent was limestone and dolomite; 13 percent, granite; 6 percent, traprock; 5 percent, miscellaneous stone; 4 percent, sandstone and quartzite; and the remaining 2 percent was divided, in descending order of tonnage, among marble, volcanic cinder and scoria, calcareous marl, slate, and shell.

It is estimated that, of the 1.54 billion tons of crushed stone consumed in the United States in 2016, 76 percent was used as construction material, mostly for road construction and maintenance; 11 percent for cement manufacturing; 7 percent for lime manufacturing; 4 percent for other chemical, special, and miscellaneous uses and products; and 2 percent for agricultural uses.

The estimated output of crushed stone in the 48 conterminous states shipped for consumption in the first six months of 2016 was 648 million tons, an increase of 11 percent compared with that of the same period of 2015. Second-quarter shipments for consumption increased by 6 percent compared with those of the same period of 2015.

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Recycling: Road surfaces made of asphalt, crushed stone and portland cement concrete surface layers and structures were recycled on a limited but increasing basis in most states. Asphalt road surfaces and concrete were recycled in all 50 states. The amount of construction material reported to be recycled increased by almost 4 percent in 2016 compared with that of the previous year.
Import sources (2012–2015): Mexico, 73 percent; The Bahamas, 15 percent; Canada, 6 percent; Honduras, 5 percent; and other, 1 percent.

Events, trends and issues: Crushed stone production was about 1.48 billion tons in 2016, an increase of 11 percent compared with that of 2015. Apparent consumption also increased, to about 1.54 billion tons.

Consumption of crushed stone was higher in 2016 because of increased consumption during every quarter since the second quarter of 2013, with an average increase of 7 percent over the same period of the previous year.

With significantly stronger construction activity across the country in 2016 and recovery in the private sector and residential construction experiencing a level of growth not seen since late 2005, consumption of construction aggregate is likely to continue to increase.

It is expected that the increased consumption in 2016 from that in 2015 will again reach or exceed the historical annual average of the past 50 years, which was a 2 to 4 percent increase per year.

World resources
: Stone resources of the world are very large. Supply of high-purity limestone and dolomite suitable for specialty uses is limited in many geographic areas. The largest resources of high-purity limestone and dolomite in the United States are in the central and eastern parts of the country.

Substitutes: Crushed stone substitutes for road building include sand and gravel, and iron and steel slag. Substitutes for crushed stone used as construction aggregate include construction sand and gravel, iron and steel slag, sintered or expanded clay or shale, perlite and vermiculite.

Construction sand and gravel

Construction sand and gravel valued at $8.9 billion was produced by an estimated 4,100 companies and government agencies from about 6,300 operations in 50 states. Leading producing states were, in order of decreasing tonnage, Texas, California, Michigan, Minnesota, Utah, Washington, New York, Arizona, Ohio and Colorado, which together accounted for about 55 percent of total output.

It is estimated that about 44 percent of construction sand and gravel was used as concrete aggregate; 25 percent for road base and coverings, and road stabilization; 13 percent as asphaltic concrete aggregate and other bituminous mixtures; 12 percent as construction fill; 1 percent each for concrete products, such as blocks, bricks and pipes; plaster and gunite sands; snow and ice control; and the remaining 3 percent for filtration, golf courses, railroad ballast, roofing granules and other miscellaneous uses.

The estimated output of construction sand and gravel in the United States, 443 million tons shipped for consumption in the first six months of 2016, was 8 percent higher than the 410 million tons estimated for the same period in 2015.

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Import sources (2012–15): Canada, 90 percent; Mexico, 5 percent; and other, 5 percent.

Events, trends and issues: Construction sand and gravel production was about 1.01 billion tons in 2016, an increase of 7 percent compared with that of 2015. Apparent consumption also increased to about 1.01 billion tons. Consumption of construction sand and gravel was higher in 2016 because of increased consumption during every quarter since the second quarter of 2013, with an average increase of 6 percent over the same period of the previous year.

The construction sand-and-gravel industry remained concerned with environmental, health, permitting, safety and zoning regulations. Movement of sand-and-gravel operations away from densely populated regions was expected to continue where regulations and local sentiment discouraged them. Resultant regional shortages of construction sand and gravel would likely result in higher-than-average price increases in industrialized and urban areas.

World resources: Sand-and-gravel resources of the world are plentiful. However, because of environmental restrictions, geographic distribution and quality requirements for some uses, sand-and-gravel extraction is uneconomic in some cases. The most important commercial sources of sand and gravel have been glacial deposits, river channels and river flood plains.

Use of offshore deposits in the United States is mostly restricted to beach erosion control and replenishment. Other countries routinely mine offshore deposits of aggregate for onshore construction projects.

Substitutes: Crushed stone, the other major construction aggregate, is often substituted for natural sand and gravel, especially in more densely populated areas of the eastern United States. Crushed stone remains the dominant choice for construction aggregate use.

Increasingly, recycled asphalt and portland cement concretes are being substituted for virgin aggregate, although the percentage of total aggregate supplied by recycled materials remained very small in 2016.


Information for this article courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey.

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