UK mineral products annual output tops 400m tonnes

A total of 400 million tonnes of essential aggregates, industrial minerals and other manufactured mineral products were produced in Great Britain in 2018, according to the latest figures from the Mineral Products Association (MPA).
Quarry Products / January 14, 2021
By Liam McLoughlin
The UK mineral products sector at a glance. Source: MPA
The UK mineral products sector at a glance. Source: MPA

The MPA says this makes the sector the UK’s biggest producer by volume, with the volume of aggregates, industrial minerals and other manufactured mineral products output being four times the production of UK energy minerals (such as gas, oil, petroleum and uranium).

The mineral products industry directly contributed to the UK economy by generating over £5.8bn in gross value added in 2018, and a turnover of £16bn. It also enabled a further £597bn turnover in industries downstream in the supply chain. The industry employs 81,000  people directly at over 2,000 active sites and plants, and supports an additional 3.5 million jobs throughout the supply chain.
The new figures are featured in the latest Profile of the UK Mineral Products Industry that provides details on the breadth of the mineral products industry, from the diversity of the products and their uses, the scale of their markets, to their environmental and sustainability attributes. The latest edition of the publication and its supporting statistics are available to download from the MPA website.
The MPA says examples of the importance of mineral products to society include aggregates for railways, asphalt for roads, mortar for homes, concrete for schools, hospitals and infrastructure, armour stone for coastal defences, industrial lime for drinking water, industrial sand for glass, and clays for ceramics. The industry supplies the necessary raw and manufactured mineral products to support future sustainable economic growth.
The association adds that the UK mineral products industry also plays an important role in the transition to a low carbon and more circular economy, leading internationally in the use of recycled and secondary materials, decarbonisation, and contributing to the delivery of national and local biodiversity targets and objectives.
As Government reduces support for data collection and consolidation relating to non-energy minerals, the MPA says this review helps fill the gap.
MPA chief executive Nigel Jackson commented: “The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasised the essential contribution minerals and mineral products make to the economy and our quality of life and we welcomed recognition of this by Government during the crisis. Construction, including infrastructure and housing, are dependent upon mineral products which are the largest supply, while many other manufacturing activities and strategic sectors including utilities also rely upon them.

"Government ambitions to boost the economy as we recover from the impacts of Covid will rely upon a continuous, steady and adequate supply of essential minerals and mineral products if they are to build back at all let alone better, greener and smarter. Now is the time for Government to respond to the industry’s proposals for a national statement of need to confirm the industry as critical to national infrastructure, ensuring its future is hard-wired into future ambitions for the built environment. Supply can not be assumed it needs planning, monitoring and managing."

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