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 DeBeers (South Africa), HeidelbergCement (Germany), K+S (Germany), Martin Marietta Materials (US), Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (Canada), and Vulcan Materials (US).
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.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products for the industry in the US include crushed and broken limestone, construction sand and gravel, and potash, soda, and borate. Other products include phosphate rock, crushed and broken stone, and kaolin and ball clay. Phosphates and potassium salts are used to make fertilizers. Crushed stone, sand, and gravel are also referred to as aggregates.