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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook area reports: international 1968
Year 1968, Volume IV (1970)

Nahai, L.
France,   pp. 237-265 ff. PDF (3.1 MB)


Page 237

  237The Mineral Industry of France 
By L. Nahai' 
 Despite the strikes of May—june and the monetary crisis in November,
the principal sectors of the mineral and energy producing industry performed
well. Only for solid fuels did the index of production decline. The gross
national product increased about 8.6 percent in current and 4 percent in
real terms. Prior to the strike, industrial production increased 7 percent
compared with 1967 levels, principally because of foreign demand. Recovery
after the strike started in August and gained momentum in the last quarter.
 The value of crude mineral output in 1967, the last year for which complete
data are available, was about $1,750 million,2 equivalent to 1.5 percent
of the gross domestic product for the same year. Distribution of mineral
output value by commodity groups was as follows, in million dollars: Energy
products (including uranium), 828; quarry products, 570; nonmetallic minerals
other than quarry products, 188; and metallic minerals 164. Solid fuels ranked
first in value ($645 million), followed by sand and gravel ($220 million)
and iron ore ($140 million) .~ 
 As of December 31, 1967, personnel employed in the extractive industry,
other than quarrying, totaled 203,622, a decline of 16,690 from the December
1966 total. Declines in employment at coal mines (163,074) accounted for
13,023 persons, and at iron mines (14,967) for 2,492. There were no significant
changes in other segments. About 48,000 were employed in quarries. Cement
and lime plants employed about 16,000. For 1968 the total of the above may
have been about 255,000. The iron and steel industry (inclusive of foundries)
employed an average of 108,647 workers, and 38,809 salaried employees in
1968. Corresponding data for nonferrous 
metal plants and the petroleum industry are not available. It is estimated
that total employment in the extractive industry (including quarries), nonferrous
and ferrous metallurgy, and petroleum exploration, production, and refining
may have totaled 
520,000. 
 Law number 68—1181, "Relative to the Exploration of the Continental
Shelf and to the Exploitation of its Natural Resources," was approved in
December and published in the journal Officiel on December 31. The Law constitutes
the application of the Geneva Convention on the Continental Shelf of April
29, 1958, which France adhered to on june 14, 1965. Principal features of
the Law are as follows: 
 Prior authorization is required for exploration and exploitation of the
French Continental Shelf; French laws and regulations concerning mining on
land (Code Minier) are made applicable to the Continental Shelf; French laws
including penal and fiscal codes are extended to installations engaged in
exploration and exploitation of the Continental Shelf which are also made
subject to certain regulations concerning maritime security and safety of
human life at sea; fiscal exonerations are provided to take into consideration
the high cost of offshore exploration and production and thereby encourage
their activity. 
 The Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM) and
a number of other companies organized Société de Récherches
de Minerais en Mer (Mineramer) to study and exploit marine mineral resources.
 1 Physical scientist, Division of International Activities. 
 2 Where necessary, values have been converted from francs (Fr.) to U.S.
dollars at the rate of Fr. 1=U.S. $O.20225. 
 Ministère de l'Industrie. Bureau de Documentation Minière.
Statistiques de l'Industrie Minérale 1968. (Ministry of Industry.
Statistics of the Minerals Industry, 1968). Paris, France, February 1969,
p. 8. 


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