The minerals industry is one of Britain’s largest manufacturing sectors with a turnover of £16 billion.
The flow of aggregates, asphalt, cement, concrete, stone, mortar and silica sand into the economy makes mineral products the nation’s biggest materials producer – around 400 million tonnes each year.
The industry’s contribution to the economy is estimated to be approaching £6 billion in GVA (gross value added, the measure of the value of goods and services produced). This places mineral products well within the top 10 UK manufacturing sectors.
Besides being an essential, indigenous and primary producer in its own right, the mineral products industry is also a direct and crucial part of the supply chain for a whole host of other important industries which between them turn over £597 billion.
For example, the mineral products sector is the single largest supplier to the £172 billion construction industry, which contributes nearly ten per cent of the nation’s gross domestic product. Any developments in housing, health, education, transport and energy infrastructure are totally dependent on a healthy supply of mineral products.
In short, nothing would get built – and no other sector in the economy could function, without mineral products.
The scale and complexity of turning raw minerals into essential products, and transporting them to where they are needed, requires long-term planning and investment. Companies in the sector are prepared to make that commitment but they need confidence in the economic and regulatory conditions to ensure business is viable.
However, the cumulative burden of taxation, legislation and regulation – plus shifting government policy – can put severe financial pressure on companies operating in the sector, impacting business confidence. It is vital for the British economy that such a significant, long-term and complex industry is encouraged to thrive and invest to maintain a steady and adequate supply of locally-sourced materials.
More than 80,000 men and women are employed by mineral products companies in Britain, and the industry supports at least 3.5 million jobs through its supply chain.
And when it comes to measuring productivity, few sectors match the mineral products industry with each worker producing around £72,000 of value added – that’s 1.2 times the national average.
Presenting detailed analysis of the latest data for each product, the review highlights the significant contribution the industry makes to the UK economy from over 2,000 active sites and plants.
The UK Minerals Strategy, prepared on behalf of the mineral products industry by the CBI Minerals Group and MPA, highlights that UK demand for minerals and mineral products over the next 25 years will be at least 5 billion tonnes, most of which needs to be sourced from within the UK.
The Mineral Products Association (MPA) is the trade association for the aggregates, asphalt, cement, concrete, dimension stone, lime, mortar and silica sand industries.