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Mines in New York

2015

Owner Type

There are 1,929 active mines as shown on the following map. In 2015, industry operated 1,540 mines or almost 80% of the mines in New York State. Towns, villages and other small local government entities operated 353 mines, and 36 mines were county-owned and operated. New York State agencies operated seven mines. Most of the government mines are permitted to highway departments that use the material for road maintenance.

NYS Map showing the Commodities Mined
Click on the map for a larger image.

Trends in Mine Size and Number

Mine renewal and modification permits issued in 2015 ranged in life-of-mine acreage from 1 to 1,124 acres. However, new mines tend to be smaller; about 48.3% of new mines permitted in 2015 were 10 acres or less in size. The largest new mine was the 93.1-acre Grande Aggregates LLC Whitehall Quarry in Washington County.

The following tables give 2011-2015 size range information for all active mines, including detailed information on Mined Land Reclamation Permits by county. While the number of mines has been decreasing over time, the rate of decline has been greater for mines under 10 acres in size than those greater than 10 acres. This was due to many operators expanding or combining existing mines rather than seeking permits for new sites combined with final reclamation of mines. This trend began to change, in 2009, when the required regulatory fees were increased for sites with greater than 20 acres affected by mining. However, since 2013 there is a slight increase in the total number of mines with more than 30 acres affected.

The minor projects in the first row of the below table are always less than five acres in size. They are subject to a simpler review process, but must comply with very strict criteria to be considered minor: minimum setbacks from homes and surface waters; a maximum 20-foot mine depth; no mining below water table; no hardrock (consolidated material) mining; and no on-site processing equipment, such as washing or crushing machines.

Range of Mine Sizes, 2011-2015
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Minor Projects 56 54 48 47 48
0 to 5 Acres 615 614 579 549 534
>5 to 10 Acres 447 434 434 434 426
>10 to 20 Acres 435 439 425 421 416
>20 to 30 Acres 153 154 164 158 163
>30 Acres 334 328 333 343 342
Total Mines 2,040 2,023 1,983 1,952 1,929
Counties with Highest Percentage of Acreage Permitted by Mining, 2015
County Population Center Nearby Active Mines Net Affected Acreage Land Percent
Genesee Rochester 17 1,418.7 0.45%
Onondaga Syracuse 37 2,167.5 0.42%
Rensselaer Capital/Tri-City 49 1,779.1 0.42%
Albany Capital/Tri-City 19 1,284.0 0.38%
Rockland New York City 3 471.0 0.37%
Ontario Rochester 37 1,489.3 0.35%
Erie Buffalo 43 1,956.3 0.29%
Dutchess New York City 49 1,532.3 0.29%
Saratoga Capital/Tri-City 57 1,543.9 0.29%
Wayne Syracuse 38 1,019.2 0.26%
Oswego Syracuse 90 1,687.1 0.26%

Additional Information:

2015 Mine Commodities (PDF, 147 KB)


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