Crushed and Broken Stone, NEC

SIC 1429

Companies in this industry

Industry report:

This classification covers establishments primarily engaged in mining or quarrying crushed and broken stone, not elsewhere classified. Types of stone processed by this industry include basalt, diabase, dolomitic marble, gabbro, marble, mica schist, onyx marble, quartzite, sandstone, and volcanic rock.

In 2009, approximately 70 percent of the crushed stone produced in the United States was limestone and dolomite (see SIC 1422: Crushed and Broken Limestone), followed by granite at 14 percent (see SIC 1423: Crushed and Broken Granite). Traprock, which is specifically covered under this industry classification, comprised seven percent of all crushed stone, and the remaining nine percent was shared, in descending order of tonnage, by miscellaneous stone, sandstone and quartzite, marble, volcanic cinder and scoria, slate, shell, and calcareous marl.
The mining of aggregates was relatively unorganized and undocumented for much of the nineteenth century. The classification, method, and organization of the aggregate industry began to take shape in 1882, when the U.S. Geological Survey began compiling an annual publication titled Mineral Resources of the United States. The publication added its first chapter on stone in 1889. Aggregate production was originally reported in dollar amounts of product sold but has since been assessed in terms of both tons and dollar value of product sold or used.

The crushed stone industry has been labor intensive since its inception in the late 1800s. Early production advancements came in the first decade of the twentieth century, when company-owned steam locomotives and quarry cars replaced steam tractors and mule-powered carts in quarry operations. Characterized by innovation and inventiveness, the stone crushing industry also improved the quantity and quality of production when it began incorporating sophisticated processing equipment and quarry machines in the 1940s. Product quality and quality control have increased steadily throughout the twentieth century as technology continued to keep pace with the production demands of the stone crushing industry. The largest association concerned with the health of this and other nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying industries is the National Stone Association, which was founded in 1918 in Columbus, Ohio, by a group of concerned quarry operators.

Production volume of crushed stone escalated dramatically during the twentieth century. The dollar value of crushed stone in 1900 was $24 million. In 1950, the value increased to $422 million, representing 325 million tons of crushed stone.

The crushed stone industry declined in the early 2000s but enjoyed modest growth in the middle of the decade, partly as a result of increased federal spending on highway construction and maintenance. In 2003, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act helped to boost demand for crushed stone. Production of crushed traprock increased by 9.6 percent in 2004; crushed marble production increased by 9.3 percent, miscellaneous stone by 7.1 percent, and slate by 4.8 percent. By 2005, the crushed stone industry was valued at more than $10 billion, representing more than 1.6 billion tons produced, of which 231 million tons comprised the crushed stone covered under this industry classification. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, production value of traprock reached $1.03 billion in 2007, up from $887 million in 2004 and $752 million in 2002. A total of 105 million metric tons of traprock was produced in 2007. In 2008, production of traprock declined to 90.2 million metric tons, valued at $1.19 billion. Also, in 2008, sandstone and quartzite production totaled 42.3 million metric tons, valued at $388 million.

During the final years of the 2000s, the United States fell into an economic recession. Credit dried up, and the housing market collapsed. As a result, construction, including federal, state, and local infrastructure projects, was placed on hold or outright canceled. In 2009, the Obama administration introduced an influx of billions of new dollars into the economy, with billions earmarked for infrastructure improvements, such as roads, highways, and bridges. However, the construction industry and, by association, the crushed rock industry, had not yet fully realized the benefit of these funds by the second quarter of 2010 as both production and demand were still down over the previous year's totals.

Traprock was produced by 203 companies, which operated at 347 locations in 28 states. Five states--Oregon, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, and Washington --produced 57 percent of U.S. output of traprock. Sandstone and quartzite operations are centered in Pennsylvania, Arkansas, South Dakota, Colorado, and New York, and their combined total production comprised 74 percent of the U.S. output in 2008. The leading producers of flatrock in 2008 were Oldcastle, Luck Stone Corp., Vulcan Materials, MDU Resources Group, Inc., and Lehigh Hanson. These top producers contributed 42 percent of all flatrock to the U.S. domestic supply.

Calcareous marl output was 3.5 million tons, valued at $19.7 million, in 2008. Marl was produced by six companies (one quarry each), operating in three states. Production of crushed sandstone and quartzite in 2008 was 42.3 million tons, valued at $388 million. Crushed sandstone was produced by 137 companies at 177 quarries in 26 States; quartzite was produced by 32 companies at 37 quarries in 16 states. Shell, which comes primarily from fossil reefs or oyster shell banks, declined dramatically in 2008, falling 83 percent from 2007 levels to 500 million tons, valued at $3.7 million. Shell was produced at six quarries in four states.

Thirty-five percent of slate is produced in Pennsylvania; however, in total, crushed slate is produced by 44 companies (48 quarries) in 11 states. Production in 2008 was 4.3 million tons, valued at $40.8 million. Forty-five percent of volcanic cinder and scoria is produced in Wyoming; in total, cinder and scoria is produced by 30 firms (48 operations) in 13 states. In 2008, production totals fell by 43 percent to 3.6 million tons, valued at $28.1 million.

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