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

Krempasky, George T.
Washington,   pp. 553-561 ff. PDF (865.4 KB)


Page 553

  553The Mineral Industry of 
Washington 
This chapter has been prepared under a Memorandum of Understanding between
the 
Bureau of Mines, U.S. Department of the Interior, and the Washington Division
of 
Geology and Earth Resources for collecting information on all nonfuel minerals.
By George T. Krempasky1 
 The value of nonfuel mineral production in Washington was $180 million in
1978 and $225 million in 1979. The nonmetals— cement, clays, gem
stones,
diatomite, gypsum, lime, olivine, peat, pumice, sand and gravel, stone, sulfur,
and talc—accounted for more than 70% of the total output value.
The
metals—-copper, gold, lead, silver, and tungsten—accounted
for
the remainder. 
 With seven aluminum reduction plants, Washington was the leading State in
primary aluminum production. Raw material used in the production of aluminum
was imported, largely from Australia. 
 Exploration and development continued in the State to increase the resource
reserve base of known mineral commodities. At Republic, gold-mining operations
of Day Mines, Inc., have resumed. Continued exploration at Mt. Tolman has
shown a richer copper-molybdenum deposit than originally thought.. Production
of nonmetals, especially construction materials, continued at relatively
high rates. Cement was manufactured at four plants, most counties produced
sand and gravel, and various counties produced stone. Clays were produced
in eight counties; diatomite in Grant County, olivine in Skagit and Whatcom
Counties, and talc and soapstone in Skagit County. 
 Trends and Developments.—Historically, 
Washington has not been a large mineral producer. However, the Department
of Nat- 
ural Resources plans to carry out a legislative mandate to encourage investment
by the mining industry. The department is developing a program to update
and expand its knowledge of the State's mineral resource base; the intent
is to include economic analyses and projections indicating at what price
resources will become economic. Projections are expected to include adoption
of new techniques for mining and processing as well as projected supply and
demand. In addition, the studies are intended to include environmental impact
analysis to determine how adverse impacts can be mitigated. 
 During the period 1978-79, the Secretary of the Interior designated 31 schools
and universities, including the University of Washington in Seattle, as State
Mining and Mineral Resources and Research Institutes under Title III of Public
Law 95-87. 
 The act provides for annual allotments to one designated institute in each
participating State through fiscal year 1984; it also provides for research
and scholarship grants to each institute. The institutes are to establish
training programs in mining and minerals extraction, and to provide scholarships
and fellowships. Each institute initially received a basic grant of $110,000,
and $160,000 for scholarships and fellowships. 
 The Washington Department of Ecology 


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