Companies in this industry develop mine sites, mine and quarry nonmetallic minerals and provide related support services, and separate minerals from waste. Major nonmetallic mining companies include the US-based Vulcan Materials and Martin Marietta Materials, Rio Tinto (dually headquartered in Australia and the United Kingdom), DeBeers (South Africa), HeidelbergCement (Germany), and CRH (Ireland).
The world's most mined nonmetallic minerals are lime (350 million metric tons produced annually); salt (270 million metric tons); and phosphate rock (220 million metric tons). China and India have the largest nonmetallic mineral reserves in the world. Because of their strong construction markets and rising food needs, China, India, and Brazil are poised for the most growth in the industry.
The US nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying industry includes about 5,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with annual revenue of about $28 billion.
Demand is driven by construction spending and spending on fertilizers. Large companies have some economies of scale in purchasing and administrative systems, and have the production volume to supply large construction projects, such as new highways. Small companies typically own just one mine and compete in a local market based on superior customer service.
Imports of nonmetallic minerals account for about 10% of the US market. Major sources of imports include Canada, Mexico, China, Chile, and Peru.
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