Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Mines in New York

2016

Owner Type

There are 1,908 active mines as shown on the following map. In 2016, industry operated 1,536 mines or 80% of the mines in New York State. Towns, villages and other small local government entities operated 332 mines, and 35 mines were county-owned and operated. New York State agencies operated five 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 2016 ranged in life-of-mine acreage from 1 to 1,174 acres. However, new mines tend to be smaller; about 60.5% of new mines permitted in 2016 were 10 acres or less in size. The largest new mine was the 68.7-acre R G King Construction Inc. Panther Lake Mine in Oswego County.

The following tables provide 2012-2016 mine sizes for all active mines, and 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, 2012-2016
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Minor Projects 54 48 47 48 47
0 to 5 Acres 614 579 549 534 516
>5 to 10 Acres 434 434 434 426 436
>10 to 20 Acres 439 425 421 416 409
>20 to 30 Acres 154 164 158 163 165
>30 Acres 328 333 343 342 335
Total Mines 2,023 1,983 1,952 1,929 1,908
Counties with Highest Percentage of Acreage Permitted by Mining, 2016
County Population Center Nearby Active Mines Net Affected Acreage Land Percent
Onondaga Syracuse 36 2,188.86 0.42%
Genesee Rochester 17 1,313.38 0.41%
Albany Capital/Tri-City 19 1,409.90 0.41%
Rensselaer Capital/Tri-City 49 1,693.39 0.40%
Rockland New York City 3 471.0 0.37%
Ontario Rochester 36 1,491.24 0.35%
Wayne Syracuse/Rochester 38 1,161.40 0.30%
Erie Buffalo 43 1,969.89 0.29%
Saratoga Capital/Tri-City 59 1,564.66 0.29%
Dutchess New York City 46 1,511.21 0.29%
Oswego Syracuse 91 1,781.13 0.27%

Additional Information:

2016 Mine Commodities (PDF, 168 KB)


More about Mines in New York: