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In 2011, the value of mineral production in the U.S. increased by 12 percent, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. While the agency said that metals accounted for the majority of this increase, the nonmetallic minerals sectors increased by three percent.

It was the first increase for this sector since 2007. Some $74 billion worth of nonfuel minerals was mined in the U.S., while metallic and mineral materials that were recycled domestically contributed $32 billion to the economy.

Matthew Staver | Getty Images