Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1977
Year 1977, Volume 1 (1977)
Meisinger, A. C.
Diatomite, pp. 371-373 ff. PDF (238.8 KB)
371Diatomite By A. C. Meisinger1 US. production of processed diatomite in 1977 increased 3% in quantity and 16% in value compared with that of 1976. Filtration, with 59% of domestic demand, continued to be the major use for diatomite during the year. Exports of processed thatomits, as in 1976, increased and again represented 24% of domestic production. Imports, however, declined substantially from the record year of 1976. DOMESTIC PRODUCTION Production of domestic processed diatomite in 1977 was 648,043 tons valued at $64 million. Compared with that in 1976, production increased 3% in quantity and 16% in value. US. output came from four Western States: California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, of which, California diatomite operations accounted for 61% of the national total. The Kansas operation of NL Industries, Inc., was shutdown in 1977, but 15 mine and plant facifities were in operation by the following producers: JohnsManville Sales Corp. at Lompoc, Calif.; Grefco, Inc. (Dicalite Div.), at Lompoc, Calif., and Mina, Nev.; Excel-Minerals Co., Taft, Calif.; Airox Earth Resources, Inc., Santa Maria, Calif.; Eagle-Picher Industries, Inc., Sparks and Lovelock, Nev.; Cyprus Mines Corp., Fernley, Nev.; American Fossil, Inc., Christmas Valley, Oreg.; and Inorganic Specialties Div. Witco Chemical Corp., Quincy, Wash. Witco Chemical Corp. held dedication ceremonies (October 18, 1977) for its new diatomite-processing plant at Quincy, Wash.2 The company, through its Inorganic Specialties Division, mines diatomaceous earth in Grant County, about 19 miles from the new plant site. The highly automated plant will enable Witco to substantially increase its production of Kenite diatomite products, particularly ifiter aids. Table 1.—Diatomite sold or used by producers in the United States 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 Domestic production (sales) short ton&. -Averagevalueperton 608,906 $59.26 664,303 $76.31 572,582 $80.01 631,380 $87.08 648,043 $98.56 CONSUMPTION AND USES Consumption of diatomite increased 3% compared with that of 1976. With the exception of diatomite used for pozzolans, lightweight aggregates, and fertilizer coatings, all end uses increased in 1977, with ifitration accounting for 59% of domestic domand. Other major uses were fillers and insulation. Other end uses for diatomite (table 2) included abrasives, absorbents, additives, admixtures, carriers, and coating agents for numerous applications, primarily in the agricultural, chemical, and construction industries.
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