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UK mineral statistics

The UK is an important producer of a range of minerals that are consumed in many sectors of the economy. Some 185.9 million tonnes of minerals were extracted from the UK landmass for sale in 2022. These can be broken down into the following main categories with percentages of total production in brackets:

  • 126.4 million tonnes (68%) of crushed rock (for both construction and industrial uses)
  • 40.3 million tonnes (21.7%) of sand and gravel
  • 6.6 million tonnes (3.5 %) of other construction minerals
  • 10.3 million tonnes (5.5%) industrial minerals (other than those within crushed rock)
  • 0.7 million tonnes (0.4 %) of coal
  • 1.5 million tonnes (0.8%) of oil and gas (oil equivalent)

A further 91.3 million tonnes, consisting mainly of oil and gas (oil equivalent), but also marine–dredged sand and gravel, were extracted from the UK Continental Shelf.

United Kingdom Minerals Yearbook

Hemerdon mine, Devon. BGS © UKRI.

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

BGS collated comprehensive, annual statistics on opencast coal for the whole of the UK until 2015, in collaboration with the Coal Authority and planning authorities. This continued a series published in the past by the Planning Officers’ Society.

Mineral extraction in Great Britain 2014

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

2019 aggregate minerals survey for England and Wales

Aggregate quarrying in the UK. BGS (c) UKRI.

The aggregate minerals surveys, based at approximately four yearly intervals since 1973, provide in-depth and up-to-date information on regional and national sales, inter-regional flows, transportation, consumption and permitted reserves of primary aggregates. The Collation of the Results of the 2019 Aggregates Minerals Survey report is currently available.

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). Northern Ireland has a different minerals ownership regime: metallic 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.