Crumbling foundations spawn agency’s pyrrhotite-prone aggregate tracing

The U.S. Geological Survey has developed the first map of rock deposits exhibiting the potential to contain or form pyrrhotite, whose presence in otherwise ASTM C33 aggregate can prove extraordinarily deleterious in concrete. The map is part of a new fact sheet, “Pyrrhotite Distribution in the Conterminous United States,” publication of which abides a Congressional directive addressing widespread residential foundation failure cases in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

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Northeast foundations catastrophe spawns USGS pyrrhotite reference

Sources: U.S. Geological Survey; CP staff 

The U.S. Geological Survey has developed the first map of rock deposits exhibiting the potential to contain or form pyrrhotite, whose presence in otherwise ASTM C33 aggregate can prove extraordinarily deleterious in concrete. The map is part of a new fact sheet, “Pyrrhotite Distribution in the Conterminous United States,” whose publication abides a Congressional directive addressing widespread residential foundation failure cases in Connecticut and Massachusetts. 

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Sand & gravel production, use survey measures concrete prevalence

Sources: U.S. Geological Survey; CP staff

The annual USGS Mineral Commodity Summaries estimates 2019 construction sand & gravel production at 970 million metric tons, valued at $9 billion and extracted from 6,830 sites operated by 3,870 companies. In order of decreasing tonnage, the lead states for production were Texas, California, Arizona, Minnesota, Michigan, Washington, Ohio, New York, Utah and Colorado—accounting for upward of 55 percent of total U.S. output. 

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Producer fragmentation higher in sand & gravel than crushed stone

Sources: U.S. Geological Survey; CP staff

Top 20 sand & gravel and crushed stone producer rankings from USGS Commodity Specialist Jason Willett show strong contrasts in market concentration and operational scale. Producers on the just-released sand & gravel ranking accounted for 30 percent of shipments in 2016, the most recent year for which consolidated figures are available. For the same period, the agency’s crushed stone ranking showed a) the top 20 producers responsible for 743 million mt or 55 percent of the 2016 U.S. output; and, b) the top 100 operators shipping 1.02 billion mt of crushed limestone and granite, or 75 percent of industry deliveries.

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Oldcastle Materials, Vulcan, Lehigh Hanson lead sand & gravel ranks

Sources: U.S. Geological Survey; CP staff

The top 20 construction sand & gravel producers by volume accounted for 269 million metric tons (mt) or 30 percent of total shipments for 2016, the most recent year for which consolidated figures are available. The top 100 producers on USGS Commodity Specialist Jason Willett’s current ranking combined for 426 million mt, or 48 percent of agency-tracked 2016 sand & gravel production. The top 10 producers are Oldcastle Materials Inc., Vulcan Materials Co., Lehigh Hanson Inc., LafargeHolcim, Cemex USA, MDU/Knife River Corp., Martin Marietta Materials, Granite Construction Inc., Mitsubishi Cement Corp., and Summit Materials. 

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Vulcan, Martin Marietta, Oldcastle top USGS crushed stone ranking

Sources: U.S. Geological Survey; Rock Products

The top 20 crushed stone producers accounted for 743 million metric tons, or 55 percent of the 2016 U.S. output, according to a report USGS Commodity Specialist Jason Willet prepared from the most current shipment data available. He also finds that the top 100 operators’ limestone and granite production totaled 1.02 billion mt, or 75 percent of industry shipments, in 2016. The 294 leading companies in his survey, representing 20 percent of operators tracked, were responsible for 1.21 billion mt or 89 percent of output. 

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Agency confirms solid first quarter aggregate, cement consumption figures

Sources: U.S. Geological Survey; CP staff

The principal federal agency tracking sand & gravel, crushed stone and portland cement shipments reports double-digit gains for each material during the first quarter of 2016 as measured against prior year figures. The U.S. Geological Survey confirms these year-over-year 2016 Q1 trends: sand & gravel, 173 million metric tons (mt), +10 percent; crushed stone, 270 million mt, +21 percent; and, portland cement, +14 percent.

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PCA, USGS confirm hard figures in 2015 cement, aggregate consumption gains

Sources: U.S. Geological Survey; Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill.; CP staff

The recently released PCA U.S. Year-End Report finds 2015 cement consumption rising 3.8 percent above prior year figures, to 105 million short tons, while a companion document from a principal PCA data source—the U.S. Geological Survey—shows a 6 percent increase for construction aggregates shipments over the same window.

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Agency tracks 8 percent sand & gravel shipment gain, future supply concerns

Sources: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS); Rock Products Magazine; CP staff

Construction aggregates production in 2014 reached an estimated 2.17 billion metric tons, valued at $19.8 billion and besting the prior year volume by more than 7 percent, according to the USGS Mineral Commodity Summaries 2015 report.

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