Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook 1990
Year 1990, Volume 2 (1990)
Harrison, Donald K.; Anderson, Walter; Foley, Michael E.
Maine, pp. -239 PDF (747.1 KB)
MAINE—1990 237Androscoggin, Oxford, and Sagadahoc Counties. In late 1989, the world's largest gem morganite crystal was unearthed at the Buckfield Quarry in Buckfield. The crystal, dubbed the "Rose of Maine, " was 1 15,000 carats and weighed 50 pounds. Shortly thereafter, following a dispute over whether to form a company to sell the gem and market the site as a tourist attraction, the owners split the crystal into at least three pieces to increase its marketability.6 A separate, large morganite crystal, which came from the same rock cavity, was donated to the Maine State Museum for display. The Plumbago Mining Co. continued to mine a significant commercial amethyst deposit near the town of Sweden. The company began mining gem-quality amethyst from the deposit in 1989. G,rzphite (Synthe!ic).—Synthetic graphite was produced by Fiber Materials Inc. at its plant in Biddeford, York County. Peat.—Peat was mined by two companies in Maine. Dear Hill Farms Inc. mined peat for horticultural purposes in Waldo County, and Down East Peat LP hired a private contractor to mine peat for use as fuel at a 22. 8-megawatt, peatfired electric powerplant near Deblois, Washington County. Fuel for the plant was harvested from the adjacent 1 ,200 acre Denbo Heath Bog. Penile (&panded).—Crude perlite shipped in from New Mexico was expanded by the Chemrock Corp. at a plant in Rockland, Knox County. Both quantity and value increased over 1989 levels. The expanded perlite was sold primarily as a filter aid. Sand and G,uvel (Con.slniction).— Construction sand and gravel production is surveyed by the U.S. Bureau of Mines for even-numbered years only; data for odd-numbered years are based on annual company estimates. This chapter contains actual data for 1988 and 1990 and estimates for 1989. Construction sand and gravel was the State's leading mineral commodity produced and accounted for almost onehalf of the State's total value. In 1990, output declined about 9 % from the estimated output of 1989; value remained essentially the same, the result of higher average unit values. The average unit value in 1990 was $3.73. A total of 80 companies or towns mined construction sand and gravel from 103 operations at 344 pits in 16 counties. Leading ~ counties, in order of output, were York, . Cumberland, Androscoggin, Penobscot, and Somerset. Major uses were for construction and roadbuilding. Stone.—Stone production is surveyed by the U.S. Bureau of Mines for oddnumbered years only; data for evennumbered years are based on annual company estimates. This chapter contains estimates for 1988 and 1990 and actual data for 1989. Crushed.—Crushed stone was the State's third leading mineral commodity after construction sand and gravel and portland cement. The estimated crushed stone production of 1.7 million short tons was 7% higher than that of 1989. Leading counties, in order of output, were Cumberland, Knox, and Penobscot. Limestone, sandstone, traprock, and marl were quarried primarily for cement manufacture, concrete aggregate, and railroad ballast. In response to citizens' complaints concerning blasting at a crushed stone quarry in Topsham, the township enacted a blasting ordinance. The ordinance, the first of its kind in Maine, set limits for ground vibration and shock waves from blasting in quarries, at construction sites, and in other areas where explosives are used. Town officials used ordinances developed in Huntsville, AL, to write the ordinance, which requires blasters to get town permits and notify nearby residents of expected blasts. The ordinance also requires testing of nearby wells following blasts and seismographic recordkeeping. Dimension.—New England Stone Industries Inc. quarried dimension granite at Crotch Island, Hancock County. In 1990, estimated output and value increased over 1989 levels. Most of the stone was used for veneer, flagging, curbing, and rough blocks. ' State Mineral Officer, U.S Bureau of Mines, Pittsburgh, PA. He has 17 yearn of mineral-related experience and has covered the mineral activities in Maine for 6 years. Assistance in the preparation of the chapter was given by Sally J. Stephenson, editorial assistant. ' Director and State Geologist, Maine Geological Survey, Augusta, ME. ' Resource Administrator, Maine Geological Survey, Augusta, ME. 4Rock Products. Aggregate: Fearful but Cautiously Optimistic in 1991. V. 93, No. 11, Dec. 1990, p. 39. "Average number of workers' is summary of the average number of workers at individual mining establishments during periods (not necessarily continuous) of active operations. 6Portland Herald Press. ' Ross of Maine' Morganite Spilt by Mining Brothers. Jan. 9. 1990, p. 1.
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