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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)

Eilertsen, Donald E.
Potash,   pp. 1055-1067 ff. PDF (1.1 MB)


Page 1055

  1055Potash 
By Donald E. Eilertsen' 
 Moderate production, higher prices, record consumption and imports, and
unusually large exports were some of the highlights of marketable potassium
salts in the United States in 1972. Imports of potash were larger than domestic
production for the second consecutive year. The Province 
of Saskatchewan, Canada, continued its production and pricing regulations
for the third consecutive year. These regulations have been largely responsible
for higher worldwide potassium muriate prices since the low prices of 1969.
Table 1.—Salient statistics on potassium salts 
(Thousand short tons 
and thous 
and dollars) 
Item 
1968 
1969 
1970 
1971 
1972 
United States: 
Production of potassium salts, marketable    Approximate KsO equivalent 
       Value                           
Sales of potassium salts by producers        
Approximate KsO equivalent           
Value at plant  
Average value per ton                 
4,769 
2,722 
75,664 
5,091 
2,913 
81,620 
16.03 
4,918 
2,804 
73,572 
5,340 
3,069 
78,062 
14.62 
4,853 
2,729 
98,123 
4,703 
2,669 
92,373 
19.64 
4,543 
2,587 
100,527 
4,578 
2,592 
102,099 
22.30 
4,738 
2,659 
106,680 
4,653 
2,618 
104,680 
22.50 
Exports of potassium salts'             Approximate K20 equivalent 1    
   Value'                          
Imports for consumption of potassium salts ' ~ Approximate K,O equivalent'
        Value'                             
Apparent consumption of potassium salts ~ Approximate K20 equivalent    
World: Production, marketable: 
Approximate K,0 equivalent             
1,303 
735 
38,353 
3,644 
2,166 
71,910 
7,432 
4,344 
17,867 
1,233 
700 
33,061 
3,926 
2,332 
60,703 
8,033 
4,701 
19,198 
966 
544 
28,473 
4,403 
2,605 
94,734 
8,140 
4,730 
20,013 
1,033 
564 
35,323 
4,672 
2,766 
111,844 
8,217 
4,794 
21,817 
1,353 
764 
45,858 
4,979 
2,961 
119,666 
8,279 
4,815 
22,465 
Excludes potassium chemicals and mixed fertilizers. 
Measured by sold or used plus imports minus exports. 
DOMESTIC PRODUCTION 
 Domestic production of marketable potassium salts consisting of potassium
chlorides (muriates), potassium-magnesium sulfate, potassium sulfate, and
mine-run salts in terms of potassium monoxide (K2O) equivalent was 2.8% larger
than in 1971. Production has ranged from 2.6 to 
2.8 million tons of 1(20 annually since 
1968; record production of 3.3 million tons of K20 production occurred in
1966. Eleven producers in three States produced marketable potassium salts
in 1972. The companies were AMAX Chemical Corp., Duval ' Corp., International
Minerals & Chemical Corp. (IMC), Kerr-McGee Corp., National Potash Co.,
Potash Co. of America, Division of Ideal Basic Industries, Inc., 
and Teledyne Potash (formerly United States Potash & Chemical Co.) all
in New Mexico; Great Salt Lake Minerals & Chemicals Corp., Kaiser Aluminum
& Chemical Corp., and Texas Gulf, Inc. (formerly Texas Gulf Sulphur Co.)
in Utah; and Kerr-McGee Corp. (American Potash Division), in California.
 New Mexico accounted for 86.3% of the national production of marketable
K2O in 1972. The average grade of mined ore declined from 17.3% K2O in 1971
to 16.3% K2O in 1972, the lowest in many years. 
 1 Physical scientist, Division of Nonmetallic Minerals (retired). 


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