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Mines in New York


Owner Type

There are 1,983 active mines as shown on the following map. In 2013, industry operated 1,580 mines or almost 80% of the mines in New York State. Towns, villages and other small local government entities operated 356 mines, and 40 mines were county-owned and operated. New York State agencies operate 7 mines. Most of the government mines belong to highway departments which use the material for road maintenance.

Map of Mines in NY State
Click on the map for a larger image.

Trends in Mine Size and Number

Mine renewal and modification permits issued in 2013 ranged in life-of-mine acreage from 1 to 710 acres. However, new mines tend to be smaller; about 44.1% of new mines permitted in 2013 were 10 acres or less in size. The largest new mine was the 120.8-acre Seneca Meadows Inc. Seneca View Surface Mine in Seneca County.

The following tables give 2009-2013 size range information for all active mines, including detailed information on mined land and 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.

The minor projects in the first row of the below table are always less than 5 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, 2009-2013
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Minor Projects 61 61 56 54 48
0 to 5 Acres 631 641 615 614 579
>5 to 10 Acres 476 453 447 434 434
>10 to 20 Acres 442 442 435 439 425
>20 to 30 Acres 156 150 153 154 164
>30 Acres 356 343 334 328 333
Total Mines 2,122 2,090 2,040 2,023 1,983
Counties with Highest Percentage of Acreage Permitted by Mining, 2013
County Population Center Nearby Active Mines Net Affected Acreage Land Percent
Albany Capital/Tri-City 20 1,494.3 0.44%
Genesee Rochester 18 1,326.3 0.42%
Onondaga Syracuse 39 2,144.7 0.42%
Rensselaer Capital/Tri-City 53 1,744.7 0.41%
Ontario Rochester 41 1,485.6 0.35%
Rockland New York City 4 424.9 0.33%
Saratoga Capital/Tri-City 60 1,615.7 0.30%
Dutchess New York City 52 1,473.1 0.28%
Columbia Capital/Tri-City 30 1,090.1 0.26%
Wayne Syracuse 40 998.4 0.26%

Additional Information:

2013 Mine Commodities (PDF, 77 KB)

More about Mines in New York: