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Seven companies mined fire clay in four states during 2003. From 1984 to 1992, production declined to 383 kt (422,000 st) from a high of 1.04 Mt (1.14 million st) as markets for clay-based refractories declined. Since 1992, production levels have been erratic, ranging from 383 kt (422,000 st) in 1992 and 2001 to 583 kt (642,000 st) in 1995. Production in 2003, based on preliminary data, was estimated to be around 450 kt (496,000 st) with a value of about $10.5 million. This was about the same as in 2002. Missouri remained the leading producer state, followed by South Carolina, Ohio and California.