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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook 1990
Year 1990, Volume 2 (1990)

White, Doss H., Jr.; Dean, Lewis S.
Alabama,   pp. [42]-52 ff. PDF (1.5 MB)

Page 47

ALABAMA—1990  47new plant will process almost 250 million cubic
of gas per day compar&l to the existing Mary Ann Field facility.
A pipeline
will be constructed from a production platform to be placed in the Mobile
OCS Block 823 Field to a central gathering platform in the Mary Ann Field
1 1/2 miles east of Dauphin Island. The gas will then be transported to shore
in a previously installed pipeline. The $26 million gas processing facility
is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 
Talc.—Cyprus Minerals Co. ' s Alabama operation was the only active
talc mine and mill in the Southern United States. The company mined and ground
talc at its Winterboro facility near Alpine. The company also received shipments
of talc from Montana and Australia for grinding. Principal markets were the
cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. - 
 &herlndustñalMinemls.—In addition to the commodities
in table 1, a number of minerals were shipped into Alabama and processed
into higher value products. Fused aluminum oxide and aluminum-zirconium oxide
for abrasive use were produced by the Norton Co. at a plant in Huntsville,
Madison County. 
Magnesium minerals from Mexico, Turkey, and Greece were imported by Muscle
Shoals Minerals, Barton, in Colbert County, for the production of fused magnesium
oxide for heating elements. Zirconium ore and concentrates were obtained
from the Republic of South Africa and Florida for the production of fused
zirconium oxide. Fluorspar was shipped into the State by International Minerals
and Chemicals Co. , Florence, in Lauderdale County, for the manufacture of
fluorosilicic acid. 
 Hydrous ammonia plants were operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority,
Muscle Shoals, and USS Agri-Chemicals Inc., Cherokee, both in Colbert County.
Iodine was imported by a Mobile firm. Mica was produced as a byproduct of
tantalum ore beneficiation by O'Dell Construction Co. at its beneficiation
facility in Coosa County and sold to a North Carolina firm. Expanded perlite
facilities in Irondale, Jefferson County, and Mobile, Mobile County, were
operated by W. R. Grace & Co. and Armstrong World Industries. Crude
was obtained from mines in the Western United States. Vermiculite obtained
from South Carolina was exfoliated by W. R. Grace at its Irondale facility.
Synthetic iron oxide pigments and regenerator oxides were produced by Gulf
States Steel Inc. , Gadsden, in Etowah County, as a byproduct of steelmaking.
Synthetic mullite was produced by Harbison-Walker at its operation in Eufaula.
Tungsten was used by Martin Technologies, Huntsville, in the manufacture
of M-74 grenade bodies for the military. Zeolite catalysts were produced
by Union Carbide Corp. at a plant in Chickasaw near Mobile. Diabase from
North Carolina was utilized by Partek Insulations Inc. in the manufacture
of mineral filler at a Phenix City plant. 
 The metal industry in Alabama consisted of one extractive operation (tantalum)
and several operations that used scrap metal as feedstock. Two extractive
bauxite operations produced clay for a nonmetal end use. 
 Alwninum.—Reynolds Metals Co. operated the company's largest aluminum
fabricating facility at Listerhill in Colbert County. The plant, with revenue
of more than $1 billion, employed 2,100 workers. The facility produced aluminum
sheet for cans, siding, and appliances. Scrap aluminum was converted into
15-ton, 26-inch-thick bars of aluminum ingot and then rolled into coils of
sheet, some less than 1/100-inch-thick. 
During the past 3 years, Reynolds has invested $430 million in the Colbert
County complex, $125 million of it for a new casthouse. The casthouse raised
capacity 30 % while cutting costs 39%. The increase in efficiency was achieved
with fewer furnaces and employees; in 1990, 105 jobs were eliminated by the
new eq'2 During the year, the company broke ground for a $525,000 facility
that will house the Process 
Control and Development Department of the company's Manufacturing Technology
Laboratory. The laboratory will work on improving the technologies involved
in the extraction, fabrication, and reclamation of aluminum and its 13 
 Bauxite.—Alabama and Georgia were the only States with bauxite
Two companies, Harbison-Walker Refractories Div. of Dresser Industries Inc.
and Mullite Co. of America, mined bauxite, a high-alumina clay, in Barbour
and Henry Counties in the southeastern part of the State. Most of the clay
was calcined and sold to the refractory industry. Production and value decreased
significantly below that reported in 1989. 
A third company, Carbo Ceramics in 
Eufaula, purchased bauxite for the manufacture of proppants for the petroleum
 Femxzlloys.—The State continued -to rank third among the 15 States
with ferroalloy production. In 1990, Alabama's ferroalloy industry produced
97,000 metric tons-valued at $93 million, a decrease of 10,000 metric tons
and $5 million below those reported in 1989. 
 Imn and SteeL—The State's steel industry was composed of six firms
with plants in Birmingham, Gadsden, and Tuscaloosa. Gulf States Steel Co.,
Gadsden, and USX Corp. , Birmingham, operated integrated steel mills; Birmingham
Steel Corp. , Commercial Metals Co. (CMC), and SMI Steel Inc., all in the
Birmingham area, operated minimills; and Tuscaloosa Steel Corp. operated
a plate mill. 
Fairfield Works, the steelmaking division of USX Corp. , completed its 
10-year, $1 billion renovation with the dedication of its cold reduction
mill. The 
$1 billion renovation included a $750 
million seamless pipe mill -and bloom caster completed in the early 1980's
and a $200 million continuous slab caster and a renovation of the plant's
hot strip mill completed in 1988. 
 The Fairfield Works was the largest steelmalcing plant in the Southeast.

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