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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook 1990
Year 1990, Volume 2 (1990)

Harrison, Donald K.; Sinnott, Joseph A.
Massachusetts,   pp. [246]-252 ff. PDF (758.9 KB)


Page 247

NONFUEL MINERAL PRODUCTION IN MASSACHUSETTS' 
ASSACHUSETTS—1990  247THE MINERAL INDUSTRY OF MASSACHUSETTS 
 This chapter has been prepared under a Memorandum of Understanding between
the U.S. Bureau of Mines, U.S. Department ofthe Interior, and the Commonwealth
ofMassachusetts, Executive Office ofEnvironmental Affairs, for collecting
information on all nonfuel minerals. 
By Donald K. Harriso& and Joseph A. Sinnott2 
 The value of nonfuel mineral production in 1990 was $127.5 million, a decrease
of $16.6 million compared with the 1989 value. The combined value of crushed
stone and construction sand and gravel, the State's two leading mineral commodities,
accounted for 83 % of the value. In 1990, the State ranked eighth among 34
States that produced dimension stone. Other commodities produced included
common clay, industrial sand, lime, and peat. Industrial minerals processed
or manufactured in the State included abrasives, graphite, gypsum, perlite,
and vermiculite. 
TRENDS AND 
DEVELOPMENTh 
 One leading indicator of the health of the State's aggregate industry was
the number of construction contracts awarded. In 1990, the total value of
construction contracts was down 23 % from 1989 after declining 15 % from
1988 to 1989. Overbuilding in the mid-1980's had led to a collapse of the
residential, commercial, and industrial construction markets. Although the
value of nonbuilding construction contracts rose 14 % in 1990, this was offset
by declines in the value of nonresidential contracts (down 26 %) and residential
construction contracts (down 34 %). Normally, highway construction was also
a large consumer of aggregates. Because of State budgetary cuts, however,
an estimated $300 million worth of road and bridgework in the State was put
on hold. As a result of fewer construction contracts and highway construction
projects, output of the State's two leading mineral comniodities (crushed
stone and construction sand and gravel) were lower in 1990. 
 The long-term outlook for aggregate producers does appear brighter however,
TABLE 1 
once the combined $10 billion Boston 
~ Harbor Cleanup and the Boston Central 
~ Artery Projects get into full swing. It 
~ was estimated that 3 . 8 million cubic yards 
~ of concrete would be required in the 
~ construction of the $5 billion Central 
~ Artery-Tunnel Project. Structural steel 
~ needed would amount to 25,000 short 
~ tons, and almost 2 million square feet of ceramic tile would be needed
to finish tunnel interiors.3 The State passed an additional 10-cent-per-gallon
gasoline tax in the spring of 1990, which should provide additional funds
for highway projects. 
EMPLOYMENT 
 In 1990, the average number of workers4 employed in the mineral extractive
industries in Massachusetts was 1,058. This included 449 workers in the sand
and gravel industry, 300 in the stone industry, and 302 working in mills
and preparation plants. 
1988 
1989 
1990 
Mineral   .  Value Quanttty (thousands) 
. 
Quantity 
Value 
(thousands) 
. 
Quantity 
Value 
(thousands) 
Gemstones  NA $1Sand and gravel: Construction thousand short tons 22,168
79,364 
 Industrial do. W WStone: Crushed do. ~17,500 ~91,900 Dimension short tons
W WCombined value of clays (common), lime, 
NA 
' 13,900 
34 
11,880 
67,533 
$3 
' 57,000 601 
67,768 
10,302 
NA 
12,774 
30 
' 9,200 
' 56,254 
$1 
51,466 
401 
' 54,500 
' 10,992 
peat, and values indicated by symbol W XX 20,973 Total xx 192,238 
XX 
XX 
8,452 
144,126 
XX 
XX 
10,138 
127,498 
' Estimated. NA Not available. W WiLh1~1d to avoid disclosing company proprietary
data; valce included with ~Ccsnb 
iced vaiue~ figure. 
XX Not applicable. 
' Production as measured by mice shipments, sales, or marketable production
Cmcluding conswnption by producers). 


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