University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Ecology and Natural Resources Collection

Page View

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

Wang, K. P.
Boron,   pp. 217-221 ff. PDF (472.6 KB)


Page 217

  217Boron 
By K. P. Wang' 
 Production and domestic consumption of boron minerals continued the rising
trend begun in 1961 and reached a new high in 1972. However, recorded exports
in terms of B2O3 content showed little overall change from 1971 and were
considerably lower than the average level in 
1969—70. For some time, all U.S. output had been in the form of sodium
bora-tes and boric acid. Recently, production of calcium borate (colemanite)
on a commercial scale was resumed in California, which 
provides the entire domestic production of boron minerals. 
 Legislation and Government Programs. 
—During 1972 there were no Government programs and no legislation proposed
or enacted pertaining to boron. The Govern- men-t had no stocks, and no procurement
programs were in effect. - 
 The depletion allowance remained -at 14% for both domestically and foreign-produced
borates in accordance with the Tax Reform Act of 1969. 
Table 1.—Salient boron minerals and compounds statistics in the United
States 
(Thousand short tens and thousand dollars) 
1968 
1969 
1970 
1971 
1972 
Sold or used by producers: 
 Quantity: 
 Gross weight            - Boron oxide                      
963 
519 
1,020 
551 
1,041 
562 
1,047 
568 
1,121 
607 
Value                              
Imports for consumption:' 
Quantity                            
Value                              
$76,535 
19 
$558 
$81,261 
24 
$718 
$86,827 
27 
$831 
$89,856 
7 
$233 
$95,882 
20 
$626 
' Colemanite only. 
DOMESTIC PRODUCTION 
 Domestic production and sales of boron increased slightly in 1972 compared
with those of 1971. Most of the output ca-me from Kern County, Calif., and
to a lesser exten-t from San Bernardino County, Calif. 
 The large open pit mine of U.S. Borax & Chemical Corp., a subsidiary
of the British-owned Rio Tinto Zinc Corp. Ltd., at Boron, Kern County, remained
the world's foremost source of boron. U.S. Borax produced upgraded crude
sodium borates, refined borates, including anhydrous borax, and boric acid,
including anhydrous boric acid, at the mine site. High-purity and specialty
products were produced mainly a-t Wilmington, Calif., and secondarily at
Burlington, Iowa. Wilmington was also the company's port of export. These
plants 
headed by the one at Boron had a combined annual capacity of more than 500,000
short tons of equivalent B2O3 in 
1972. A 3-year, $10 million program to drastically cut down dust emissions
at Boron was successfully concluded in 1972. 
 Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp., formerly American Potash & Chemical Co.,
and Stauffer Chemical Co. produced boron compounds and other products -from
brines of Searles Lake in San Bernardino County, Calif., at their almost-adjoining
plants in Trona. Kerr-McGee's annual capacity is about 100,000 short tons
of B20, and Stauffer Chemical's capacity 25,000 to 30,000 tons of 11203.
In the spring of 1972, Kerr- 
 ' Physical scientist, Division of Nonmetallic Minerals. 


Go up to Top of Page