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Economic Impact of the Mineral Industry in New Mexico, 2015

Virginia T. McLemore, Senior Economic Geologist

New Mexico's energy and mineral wealth is one of the richest endowments of any state in the United States. For example, in 2013 New Mexico ranked in production:

  • 7th in the nation in natural gas production
    (1.2 billion cubic feet, MFC) (2014, https://wwwapps.emnrd.state.nm.us/ocd/ocdpermitting//Reporting/Production/ExpandedProductionInjectionSummaryReport.aspx)
  • 5th in crude oil (123 million barrels) (2014, https://wwwapps.emnrd.state.nm.us/ocd/ocdpermitting//Reporting/Production/ExpandedProductionInjectionSummaryReport.aspx)
  • 12th in coal (22 million tons, $816 million)
  • 3rd in copper (266 million pounds, $890 million)
  • 1st in potash (0.6 million tons, $491 million)
  • agregate (2.1 million tons, $914 million)
  • 6th molybdenum (2 million pounds, $24 million)
  • gold (2,943 ounces, $4 million)
  • 1st in zeolite and perlite
  • 2nd in carbon dioxide (145.8 billion cubic feet)

In reserves:

  • 2nd in reserves in natural gas (15.6 trillion cubic feet) (2009, http://205.254.135.7/state/state-energy-profiles-data.cfm?sid=NM#Reserves)
  • 4th in crude oil (700 million bbls) (2009, http://205.254.135.7/state/state-energy-profiles-data.cfm?sid=NM#Reserves)
  • 2nd in uranium 64 million tons ore at 0.14% U3O8
    (179 million lbs U3O8) at $50/lb (http://www.eia.gov/cneaf/nuclear/page/reserves/ures.html)
  • coal 340 million tons of recoverable reserves
    (2010 figures, http://www.eia.gov/coal/annual/pdf/table14.pdf)
  • potash (>522 million tons)
  • carbon dioxide (16 trillion feet)
  • helium (http://www.searchanddiscovery.com/documents/2012/10466broadhead/ndx_broadhead.pdf)

Direct state revenues from petroleum production (including severance, resources excise, conservation, school, and ad valorem taxes plus lease royalties, rentals and bonuses) were $1.8 billion in 2010. State revenues from other mineral commodities in 2013 were

  • coal: $23 million
  • potash: $5.3 million
  • copper: $7.3 million
  • 7 other commodities: $4 million

In a state with only 1.6 million people and a General Fund budget of $3.0 billion, it is estimated that these endowments save the average New Mexico taxpayer about $600 per year in taxes. The extractive industries also provided property and corporate income taxes while their 17,000 direct employees contributed personal income taxes from approximately $600 million in earnings. Direct employment by industry in 2013 was:

  • petroleum: 10,000
  • copper: 1,885
  • potash: 1,600
  • coal: 1,623
  • remaining producers: approximately 2,000

The multiplier effect of dispersal of these wages through local economies increases their impact many fold. A healthy mineral industry is vitally important to the economy of New Mexico and to maintenance of public education and services.

References

Updated October 9, 2015