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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook area reports: domestic 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 2 (1978-1979)

Lockard, D. W.; Bennett, E. H.
Idaho,   pp. 163-175 ff. PDF (1.4 MB)


Page 163

Mineral 
 3,676 $5,413 3,888 5,701 3,618 7,421 
 NA 100 NA 50 NA 60 
  1,912 20,492 3,966 24,140 7,423 
 42,872 29,016 44,761 33,256 42,636 49,479 
 W W 4,461 80,765 4,880 95,728 
 ' 7,750 ' 15,282 8,112 19,290 ' 7,719 218,149 
  163The Mineral Industry of 
Idaho 
This chapter has been prepared under a Memorandum of Understanding between
the 
Bureau of Mines, U.S. Department of the Interior, and the Idaho Bureau of
Mines and 
Geology, Idaho Department of Lands, for collecting information on all nonfuel
minerals. 
By D. W. Lockard1 and E. H. Bennett2 
The value of Idaho's nonfuel mineral production for 1978 was $299 million,
and for 1979 it was $438 million. This dramatic increase in production values
during the past 2 years was the result of rising metal prices, primarily
gold and silver, and the lack of significant labor problems in the entire
mineral sector. A 24-day strike at Hecla Mining Co.'s Lucky Friday Mine in
1978 was the only shutdown stemming from a labor-management controversy.
Silver was the leading metallic mineral commodity in terms of revenue; it
was followed, in descending order, by values of phosphate rock, lead, and
zinc. Metallic minerals accounted for nearly 70% of total mineral revenues
in both 1978 and 1979. 
Higher mineral prices prevailed through- 
out 1978 and into 1979, with dramatic increases shown in the latter half
of the year. Of special importance were increased values of silver and gold
with lesser increases in base metals (copper, lead, and zinc). Precious metals
demand is expected to continue through 1980; it should favorably affect mining
in the State since Idaho produces approximately 50% of the Nation's newly
mined silver. 
 Although governmental regulations had a dampening effect on the State's
mineral industry, increased metal prices and strengthening markets were positive
through 1978-79. Federal land-use classifications continued to affect exploration
in several areasthroughout the State. 
Table l.—Nonfuel mineral production in Idaho1 
Antimonyore and concentrate, antimony 
 content short tona. 
Clays thousand short tons__ 
Copper(recoverable content of ores, 
 etc.) metric tons~.. 
Gemstones                         Gold(recoverable content of ores, 
 etc.) troy ounces... 12,894 
Lead (recovera~1e content of ores, 
 etc.)_ metric tons.._ 
Phosphate rock__ -- thousand metric ton& Sand and gravel - - - —
thousand short ton& - 
See footnotes at end of table. 
 1977 1978 1979 
 - Value ~, - Value ~, - Value 
(thou- ~ (thou- ~ (thou 
  sands)  sands)  sands) 
 446 W W W W W 
W W 27 $148 28 $263 


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