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

West, Wanda J.; Gere, Milton A., Jr.
Michigan,   pp. [254]-269 PDF (2.4 MB)


Page 259

IICHIGAN—1990  259included 2.7 million short tons of portland cement
and 135,000 short tons of masonry cement, only slight declines from 1989
shipments. 
 In March, Dundee Cement Co. and Ideal Basic Industries of Denver, both subsidiaries
of Holderbank Financiere Glaris Ltd. of Switzerland, merged and began operating
under the name Holnam Inc. , a publicly traded holding company. Installation
of a new $17 million baghouse facility at the Dundee plant was completed
in 1990. The new unit was part of a plan to bring emissions from the kiln
stack into conformance with State standards. 
 Lafarge substantially completed the first phase of a modernization and expansion
program at its Alpena plant. Project costs included approximately $55 million
for equipment and related support systems and between $10 million and $15
million in facility upgrades. The second phase of the program, scheduled
for completion in 1992, will involve additional improvements to the plant's
raw materials handling facilities and refinements to existing kiln systems.
The upgrade and modernization program will cut operating costs and increase
the plant's rated annual cement production capacity by about 25 % , to 2.5
million short tons.7 
 Medusa installed state-of-the-art, highefficiency separators on finish mills
at the Charlevoix plant, lowering electrical power consumption and improving
product quality. Also, according to the company's annual report, it converted
an oil tanker to a self-unloading, 8,500short-ton capacity cement-carrying
barge that will transport cement from the Charlevoix plant to Medusa's network
of terminals on the Great Lakes. 
Qays.—Five companies produced common clay and shale from five pits
in four counties. Production and attendant value decreased about 4 % and
1 1 %, respectively, compared with 1989 figures. Michigan ranked seventh
in common clay output among the 43 producing States. Most of the tonnage
was captive production by cement companies; the 
remainder was for use in pottery and brick manufacture. 
 Gemslones.—The value of gem stones and mineral specimens collected
by mineral dealers, rockhounds, and other hobbyists was estimated to have
increased 10% in 1990. Gem stones common to Michigan include: small, colorful,
richly banded agates; ankerite; chiorastrolite; domeykite; jasper; laumontite;
native copper; Petoskey stones (fossilized coral); and prehnite. Lake Superior
beaches, old mine dumps, and gravel pits are often the sources of materials
collected. 
 Crystal Exploration Inc. continued its diamond exploration program. Work,
focused on several Upper Peninsula areas, included sampling of glacial sediments,
geophysical surveys, and drilling. 
Gypswn.—Output of crude gypsum decreased by 4 % , and a $1.71 per
ton
decline in the average price resulted in a 26 % drop in total value. Nevertheless,
Michigan again ranked third among the 20 producing States. The State has
two important gypsum-producing areas. Domtar Gypsum Inc. and Georgia Pacific
Corp. operated underground mines near Grand Rapids in Kent County, and Michigan
Gypsum Co. , National Gypsum Co. , and USG Corp. operated open pit mines
in losco County. USG's Alabaster Mine and National Gypsum's Tawas Mine ranked
third and seventh, respectively, among the 58 U.S. mines active in 1990.
 Domtar Gypsum, Georgia-Pacific, and ~ National Gypsum all operated calcining
~ plants at or near the mine sites. Gypsum rock from USG's Alabaster Mine
in Iosco County was calcined at its Detroit plant in Wayne County; also,
some was shipped to other States for processing. Calcined production from
the 4 plants totaled 637,000 short tons valued at about $11.8 million, placing
Michigan 1 lth among the 28 States where calcining plants were operated.
Gypsum is commonly used in wallboard and other building products but also
is used as an agricultural fertilizer, in dental castings and toothpaste,
and as 
a filler in food products, glass, and plastics. 
Lime.—Michigan ranked 10th of 32 States in lime production. Output
registered a slight rise over that of 1989, but total value decreased about
5 % . The average price per short ton was $49.68 compared with a national
average of $51.77. Five companies reported production of quicklime from eight
plants in seven counties; some hydrated lime also was produced at one of
the plants. The product was sold for a variety of uses, including steelmaking,
sugar refming, and water treatment. 
 Lime shipments to and within Michigan, from all domestic sources, totaled
1 million short tons of quicklime and 41,000 short tons of hydrated lime
compared with 1 . 1 million tons of quicklime and 40,000 tons of hydrated
lime in 1989. 
 Late in the year, Koch Minerals Co., Wichita, KS, sought approval to build
a lime plant at Escanaba, Delta County. The facility would use a rotary kiln
to process limestone into quicklime. If approved, the 15-month construction
project was expected to begin in mid1991. About 15 to 20 fulitimejobs would
be created by the plant when it becomes operational.8 No action had been
taken on the permit application as of yearend. Earlier in the year, Western
Lime & Cement Co. , Green Bay, WI, requested permission to build
a similar
plant at Gladstone, also in Delta County. The company planned to produce
approximately 350 short tons of lime pellets daily at the proposed plant
using limestone from the Gulliver Quarry of Pfizer Specialty Minerals Inc.
Pellets produced at the $6 million to $ 10 million plant would be sold primarily
to the paper industry and for pollution control. Citing environmental concerns,
Gladstone residents intensely protested the plan, and at yearend, the proposal
was still being disputed.9 
 Magnesium Compounds. —Three companies produced magnesium compounds
from natural well brines at operations in Manistee and Mason 


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