Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)
Wang, K. P.
Boron, pp. 217-221 ff. PDF (472.6 KB)
217Boron By K. P. Wang' Production and domestic consumption of boron minerals continued the rising trend begun in 1961 and reached a new high in 1972. However, recorded exports in terms of B2O3 content showed little overall change from 1971 and were considerably lower than the average level in 1969—70. For some time, all U.S. output had been in the form of sodium bora-tes and boric acid. Recently, production of calcium borate (colemanite) on a commercial scale was resumed in California, which provides the entire domestic production of boron minerals. Legislation and Government Programs. —During 1972 there were no Government programs and no legislation proposed or enacted pertaining to boron. The Govern- men-t had no stocks, and no procurement programs were in effect. - The depletion allowance remained -at 14% for both domestically and foreign-produced borates in accordance with the Tax Reform Act of 1969. Table 1.—Salient boron minerals and compounds statistics in the United States (Thousand short tens and thousand dollars) 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 Sold or used by producers: Quantity: Gross weight - Boron oxide 963 519 1,020 551 1,041 562 1,047 568 1,121 607 Value Imports for consumption:' Quantity Value $76,535 19 $558 $81,261 24 $718 $86,827 27 $831 $89,856 7 $233 $95,882 20 $626 ' Colemanite only. DOMESTIC PRODUCTION Domestic production and sales of boron increased slightly in 1972 compared with those of 1971. Most of the output ca-me from Kern County, Calif., and to a lesser exten-t from San Bernardino County, Calif. The large open pit mine of U.S. Borax & Chemical Corp., a subsidiary of the British-owned Rio Tinto Zinc Corp. Ltd., at Boron, Kern County, remained the world's foremost source of boron. U.S. Borax produced upgraded crude sodium borates, refined borates, including anhydrous borax, and boric acid, including anhydrous boric acid, at the mine site. High-purity and specialty products were produced mainly a-t Wilmington, Calif., and secondarily at Burlington, Iowa. Wilmington was also the company's port of export. These plants headed by the one at Boron had a combined annual capacity of more than 500,000 short tons of equivalent B2O3 in 1972. A 3-year, $10 million program to drastically cut down dust emissions at Boron was successfully concluded in 1972. Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp., formerly American Potash & Chemical Co., and Stauffer Chemical Co. produced boron compounds and other products -from brines of Searles Lake in San Bernardino County, Calif., at their almost-adjoining plants in Trona. Kerr-McGee's annual capacity is about 100,000 short tons of B20, and Stauffer Chemical's capacity 25,000 to 30,000 tons of 11203. In the spring of 1972, Kerr- ' Physical scientist, Division of Nonmetallic Minerals.
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