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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 1 (1978-1979)

Meisinger, A. C.
Perlite,   pp. 671-675 ff. PDF (473.2 KB)


Page 671

  671Perlite 
By A. C. Meisinger1 
 U.S. production of processed perlite sold and used by producers in 1979
set an alitime high in quantity and value. Output was 660,000 tons and $16.4
million compared with 641,000 tons and $13.7 million in 1978. 
 Crude ore mined by 10 companies from 12 operations in 7 Western States in
1979 was 10% less than the record quantity of 939,000 tons mined in 1978.
New Mexico operations accounted for 88% of the total mined ore in 1979, compared
with 86% in 1978, and 89% in 1977. 
 Processed perlite was expanded in 79 plants in 33 States in 1979, and that
sold and used by expanders declined 5,000 tons from the record total of 546,000
tons from 80 plants in 1978. Value of expanded perlite sold and used was
a new record high of $69.1 million, an increase of 7% over the previous record
value of $64.3 million set in 1978. Illinois maintained its leadership in
1979 in 
production and value of expanded perlite by States. 
 U.S. consumption of expanded perlite in building construction products in
1979 accounted for approximately 67% of the total perlite market in quantity
and 63% in value, compared with 70% and 66%, respectively in 1978. 
 The weighted average price of processed perlite sold and used in 1979 increased
16% from $21.44 per ton in 1978. The average value of expanded perlite products
sold and used in 1979 increased to nearly $128 per ton, or an increase of
$10 per ton over that reported in 1978. Producers attributed the increases
primarily to the higher costs of fuel and transportation during 1979. 
 World production of crude and/or processed perlite in 1979 (table 4), increased
about 2% from 1.54 million tons in 1978 to an estimated 1.57 million tons.
Table 1.—Perlite mined, processed, expanded, and sold and used
by producers
in the 
United States 
(Thousand short tons and thousand dollars) 
Year 
Perlite 
mined' 
P 
rocessed perlite 
Exp 
anded perlite 
Sold to 
expanders 
Used at own 
plant to make 
expanded material 
Total 
quantity 
sold and 
used 
Quantity 
produced 
Sold and used 
Quantity Value 
Quantity Value 
Quantity Value 
1975            
1976            
1977            
1978            
1979            
706 
727 
871 
939 
847 
 239 3,407 288 4,908 298 5,514 320 6,813 322 7,996 
 273 3,874 265 4,489 299 5,239 321 6,927 338 8,439 
512 
553 
597 
641 
660 
401 
438 
504 
553 
547 
 394 34,300 432 41,000 498 53,600 546 64,300 541 69,100 
' Crude ore mined a 
nd stockpil 
ed for processing. 


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