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Maine Mineral Resources


Portland Maine
Portland Maine

Mining employs a small number of workers compared with other industries in the state. Some clays, garnet, peat, perlite, and gemstones are extracted. However, in the late 1990s, most of the dollar value of Maine’s mineral output came from sand and gravel, cement, crushed stone, and dimensional stone.

Maine is not a major manufacturing state from a national standpoint. Although manufacturing is an important source of employment, it ranks behind services in its contribution to the state’s gross product. Manufacturing has been dominated throughout most of the 20th century by the making of paper and paper products, lumber and wood products, textiles, leather and leather goods, food stuffs, and ships. Maine at one time had been among the leading states in each of these industries, except food processing.

Wood in one form or another has contributed the largest share of Maine’s income from manufacturing for many decades. In the 20th century, Maine has depended more on paper and pulp as an industry and less on lumber. The paper products industry was the leading source of industrial production in the late 1990s.

The construction of transportation equipment ranks as another of Maine’s large industries. The Bath Iron Works, at Bath, is a major shipbuilder, and various coastal boat yards manufacture yachts and small pleasure craft. The United States Navy’s Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is located on a group of islands at the southern tip of Maine, but the base’s economic links are with Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The manufacture of aircraft engines and parts is also a significant employer in Maine.

Industries


In addition to paper, the state’s forests provide raw material for the manufacture of lumber and wood products. Food processors also rank high in their contribution to the state’s gross product. A leading employer is the canning or freezing of vegetables, including the processing of the state’s potato and blueberry harvest. Seafood processing is also a major employer, as are firms preparing poultry and eggs for market.

The shoe industry was once Maine’s largest single source of industrial jobs, but has since fallen behind other industries. Associated with shoe manufacturing is the tanning industry, and together the two make up an important industrial sector for the state.

The significant decline in employment in shoe production, textiles, and food processing during the last quarter of the 20th century was only partially offset by major growth in the manufacture of electrical and electronic equipment, fabricated metals, and printed materials. Because ship building in Maine depends primarily on military contracts, employment in that industry has fluctuated greatly. The most stable of Maine’s manufactures has been the processors of the state’s most valuable natural resource—its forests.

Industry in Maine is not highly centralized geographically; no product or area dominates the industrial scene. Several types of manufactures are found in almost every sizable city. Androscoggin, Cumberland, Kennebec, Penobscot, and York counties are the most heavily industrialized. Cumberland County, containing Portland, is the leading industrial area. "Maine" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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