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

Arndt, Robert H.
Missouri,   pp. 299-314 PDF (1.9 MB)


Page 299

  299The Mineral Industry of 
Missouri 
This chapter has been prepared under a Memorandum of Understanding between
the 
Bureau of Mines, U.S. Department of the Interior, and the Missouri Department
of 
Natural Resources, Division of Geology and Land Survey, for collecting information
on 
all nonfuel minerals. 
By Robert H. Arndt' 
 A new record was established for nonfuel minerals produced in Missouri when
mineral output in 1979 was valued at $1.2 billion. Massive increases occurred
in the values of produced portland cement, clays, lime, copper, lead, silver,
zinc, and usable iron ore. The total value of nonfuel mineral production
in 1978 was split about equally between metals and nonmetals. Metals were
dominant in 1979. 
 Output of all metals increased in 1979. Clays were the only nonmetal enjoying
increased output. Cement, lime, sand and gravel, and stone, all significant
construction materials, were produced in reduced quantities, which caused
a reduction in the number of stone and sand and gravel producers and operations
and gave substance to a recession in construction in 1979. Viburnum No. 27
lead mine of St. Joe Minerals Corp. (St. Joe) was closed because of ore depletion.
St. Joe's Pea Ridge iron mine and pellet plant, closed as uneconomic in 1977,
was reorganized as Pea Ridge Iron Ore Co., Inc., and reopened in June 1979.
Kennecott Copper Corp. announced plans for expanding the Ozark Lead Co. operations
on Sweetwater Branch and the development of the new Milhiken mine. Strikes
shut down mining, milling, and smelting activities at the Buick mine of the
AMAX Lead Co. of Missouri in 1978 and at Ozark Lead Co.'s 
Sweetwater Branch mine in 1979, with resulting curtailment of lead production.
Other consequences were inconveniences to Cominco American, Inc., which utilized
the Buick smelting facilities, and an interruption of the lead concentrate
supply for ASARCO's smelter at Glover. Noranda Aluminum, Inc., shut down
its plant at New Madrid for almost 2 months in early 1978 because of a power
shortage. Exploration for lead deposits extended southward from the Viburnum
trend into parts of Shannon, Carter, Oregon, Ripley, and Butler Counties.
Increased prices for cobalt and nickel resulted in renewed testing and development
of formerly mined and unmined leadcobalt-nickel deposits near Fredericktown
in Madison County. 
 Shortages of cement in 1978 influenced the State to bring price-fixing charges
against 15 cement firms and join with other States in a similar suit being
tried in Federal court in Arizona. 
 Environmental and regulatory problems affecting mining drew considerable
public attention. Alpha Portland Industries, Inc., continued in litigation
over a permit to dredge sand and gravel from the Meramec River valley in
St. Louis County. The U.S. Forest Service Roadless Area Review and Evaluation
(RARE II) was completed. The review involved possible designation of 


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