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Mines in New York


Owner Type

There are 2,023 active mines as shown on the following map. In 2012, industry operated 1,614 mines or almost 80% of the mines in New York State. Towns, villages and other small local government entities operated 362 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.

A New York state map with mines marked in colored dots
Click on the map for a larger image.

Trends in Mine Size and Number

Mine renewal and modification permits issued in 2012 ranged in life-of-mine acreage from 1 to 710 acres. However, new mines tend to be smaller; 58.7% of new mines permitted in 2012 were 10 acres or less in size. The largest new mine was the 69.5-acre WCO Resources LLC Hopkinson Sand Mine in Oswego County.

The following tables give 2008-2012 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 Existing Mine Sizes, 2008-2012
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Minor Projects 69 61 61 56 54
0 to 5 Acres 636 631 641 615 614
>5 to 10 Acres 493 476 453 447 434
>10 to 20 Acres 437 442 442 435 439
>20 to 30 Acres 171 156 150 153 154
>30 Acres 360 356 343 334 328
Total Mines 2,166 2,122 2,090 2,040 2,023
Counties with Highest Percentage of Land Permitted to be Affected Under Mining Permit, 2012
County Population Center Nearby Active Mines Net Affected Acreage Land Percent
Albany Capital/Tri-City 20 1,494.28 0.44%
Genesee Rochester 20 1,336.58 0.42%
Onondaga Syracuse 39 2,108.56 0.41%
Rensselaer Capital/Tri-City 55 1,728.62 0.41%
Ontario Rochester 41 1,512.04 0.36%
Rockland New York City 4 432.90 0.34%
Saratoga Capital/Tri-City 61 1,591.48 0.30%
Dutchess New York City 52 1,510.71 0.29%
Columbia Capital/Tri-City 33 1,090.99 0.26%
Wayne Syracuse 41 1,004.52 0.26%

Additional Information:

2012 Mine Commodities (PDF) (212 KB)

Chart of Number of Permits, Acreage and Reclaimed Acreage by County, 2012

More about Mines in New York: