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United Kingdom mineral statistics

The UK is an important producer of a range of minerals that are consumed in many sectors of the economy. Some 198 million tonnes of minerals were extracted from the UK landmass for sale in 2012. These can be broken down into the following main categories with percentages of total production in brackets:

  • 158 million tonnes (80%) of construction minerals
  • 22.3 million tonnes (11%) of industrial minerals
  • 16.8 million tonnes (8.5%) of coal
  • 0.9 million tonnes (0.4%) of oil and gas (oil equivalent)

A further 94.3 million tonnes, consisting mainly of oil and gas (oil equivalent), but also marine–dredged sand and gravel, were extracted from the UK Continental Shelf.

Download a table of minerals produced in the United Kingdom in 2012 (pdf)

United Kingdom Minerals Yearbook

Roan Edge quarry, Cumbria, operated by Cemex UK Materials Ltd, BGS©NERC

The United Kingdom Minerals Yearbook is an annual publication providing comprehensive statistical data on minerals production, consumption and trade, and includes commentary on the UK's minerals industry.

It contains:

  • essential guidance for decision makers
  • reliable and up–to–date information
  • authoritative commentary on current developments

It is of value to all those interested in the many facets of Britain's minerals industry and its contribution to the national economy. This publication forms part of Britain's continuous mining and quarrying record.

United Kingdom Opencast Coal statistics

Comprehensive statistics on opencast coal for the whole of the UK are collated annually by the BGS in collaboration with The Coal Authorities and Planning Authorities. Available online as UK Opencast coal statistics. This continues a series published in the past by the Planning Officers’ Society and is seen as a valuable summary by the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Welsh Government and the Scottish Executive. Additional information on coal.

Mineral Extraction in Great Britain 2012

The Office of National Statistics publishes an annual report on Mineral Extraction in Great Britain based on the Annual Minerals Raised Inquiry.

Collation of the Results of the 2009 Aggregate Minerals Survey for England and Wales

Aggregate quarrying in the UK, BGS©NERC

The Aggregate Minerals (AM) surveys, based at four yearly intervals since 1973, provide in-depth and up to date information of regional and national sales, inter-regional flows, transportation, consumption and permitted reserves of primary aggregates. The report is available from the DCLG website as the Collation of the Results of the 2009 Aggregates Minerals Survey.

Ownership of minerals in the UK

With the exception of energy minerals (oil, gas and coal) and precious metals (gold and silver), minerals are mostly in private ownership in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland). In Northern Ireland a different minerals ownership regime applies and metallic minerals and industrial minerals are in state ownership.

On private land in Great Britain the ownership of mineral rights often lies with the surface owner. However, it is not uncommon for the rights to the surface and the minerals to be separated. It can sometimes be difficult to locate the mineral rights owner. Further information on minerals ownership in the UK.