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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1977
Year 1977, Volume 1 (1977)

Meisinger, A. C.
Perlite,   pp. 695-697 ff. PDF (383.9 KB)


Page 695

  695Perlite 
By A. C. Meisinger1 
 The US. perlite industry established record highs in crude and expanded
production in 1977. Total crude ore mined was 871,000 tons, or 144,000 tons
more than 
1976. The quantity and value of crude perlite sold and used by producers
totaled 597,000 tons and $10.8 million, respectively, both record highs.
New Mexico continued to be the major perlite-producing State with 89% of
the total crude perliten4ned. 
 Producers of expanded perlite at* 80 plants in 33 States also established
a record high production in 1977 to meet the increasing demand fqr perlite
insulation products. The total quantity of expanded perlite sold or used
was 498,000 tons valued a~ n~arly 
$58.6 million, or increases of 15% and 31% 
over the previous records established in 
1976. Illinois continued to be the leading 
State in output of expanded perlite. 
Average value of crude perlite sold or used in 1977 was $18 per ton compared
with $17 per ton in 1976. Average value of expanded perlite sold or used
increased from $94.87 per ton in 1976 to $107.60 per ton, in line with rising
costs of production, energy use, pollution control, and transportation. 
Market demand remained strong for nearly all perlite end uses in 1977 with
insulation board products showing the greatest increase (33%) over that of
1976. 
Table 1.—Crude and expanded perlite produced and sold or used by
producers
in the 
United States 
(Thousand short tons and thousand dollars) 
Year 
* 
Crudeperlite 
. 
Expanded perlite 
Q'~~ti~r 
~ 
Sold 
Quantity 
Value 
Usedatown 
plant to rnake~ 
expanded material 
Quantity Value 
Ttal 
q~tity 
sold and 
"~ 
Q~tity 
produced 
Sold or used 
Quantity Value 
1973          
1974          
1975          
1976          
1977          
759 
676 
706 
727 
871 
238 
275 
239 
288 
298 
2,771 
3,544 
3,407 
4,908 
2,514 
 306 2,819 280 3,480 273 3,874 265 4,489 299 5,239 
544 
555 
512 
553 
597 
424 
423 
401 
438 
504 
418 
419 
394 
432 
498 
28,005 
30,808 
34,258 
41,017 
53,558 
DOMESTIC PRODUCTION 
A record 871,000 tons of crude perlite was 
mined by 11 companies from 12 operations in 6 States in 1977. Five mining
operations in New Mexico produced a record tota~l of 
776,000 tons of ore, or 89% of the U.S. total, followed by Arizona, California,
Id~ho, Colerado, and Nevada in descending order of production. The quantity
of crude perlite 
sold or used by producers in New Mexico was a record 521,000 tons, or 8%
greater than the previous record quantity (481,000 tons) established in 1976.
Crude perlite sold or used by domestic producers in 1977 also established
record highs in quantity (597,000 tons) and value ($10.8 million). The 8%
increase in quan 


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