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Economic Impact of the Mineral Industry in New Mexico, 2019

New Mexico's mineral wealth is one of the richest endowments of any state in the United States. For example, in 2017 New Mexico ranked in 18th in production among the states. New Mexico's mineral production in 2016 includes:

  • 11th in coal (14.6 million tons, $392 million)
  • 2nd in copper (383.6 million pounds, $843 million)
  • 1st in potash (0.6 million tons, $269 million)
  • agregate (10.8 million tons, $65984 million)
  • gold (22,142 ounces, $27.6 million)
  • silver (293,070 ounces, $5 million)
  • 1st in zeolite and perlite

In reserves:

  • 2nd in uranium 64 million tons ore at 0.14% U3O8
    (179 million lbs U3O8) at $50/lb (EIA)
  • coal 167 million short tons of recoverable reserves
    (2015 figures, EIA)
  • potash (>522 million tons)
  • carbon dioxide (16 trillion feet)
  • helium (AAPG)

Direct state revenues from mineral commodities in 2016 were

  • coal: $13.6 million
  • potash: $4.3 million
  • copper: $6.8 million
  • 7 other commodities: $3.7 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 mineral industries also provided property and corporate income taxes while their 5,000 direct employees contributed personal income taxes. Direct employment by industry in 2016 was:

  • copper: 1,638
  • potash: 772
  • coal: 1,14178
  • remaining producers: approximately 1,000

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.


Updated January 16, 2019