The earth's crust is made up largely of stone, making it an easy to access commodity. Man has taken advantage of it since the beginning of time. What was once used for weapons and digging tools now has expanded into
a many facated material. Crushed stone is used most frequently in construction without a binder in road base or road surfacing material. Other uses include cement and lime manufacture, agriculture, metallurgical flux,and fillers and extenders.
Because of it's avalibility, crushed rock is a a low- value, high-volume commodity. Most producers of crushed rock are local due to the high cost of transporting. The cost of moving the product from the plant to the market
often is equal to or exceeds the cost of the material at the plant. Other factors that contribute to the cost are cost of equipment, labor, safety restrictions, energy and water. These costs vary with geographic location, the nature of the deposit, and the number and type of products
produced. Despite having one of the lowest average-per-ton values of all mineral commodities, the constant dollar price of crushed stone has changed very little during the past 20 years. As a result of rising costs of labor, energy, and mining and processing equipment, the average unit
price of crushed stone increased from $1.58 per metric ton, f.o.b. plant,in 1970 to $4.39 in 1990. The unit price in constant 1982 dollars fluctuated between $3.48 and $3.91 per metric ton for the same period. Increased productivity
achieved through the use of automation and more efficient equipment was mainly responsible for maintaining the prices at this level.