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

Meisinger, A. C.
Vermiculite,   pp. 977-980 PDF (321.3 KB)


Page 977

  977Vermiculite 
A. C. Meisinger1 
 U.S. production of vermiculite concentrate in 1979 showed a 3% recovery
in quantity sold and used by producers (346,000 tons) from the 6% decline
in 1978. Value of production in 1979 continued to increase, and was 12% higher
than in 1978, and 18% above that in 1977. 
 Vermiculite in 1979 was mined and boneficiated from deposits in Montana,
South Carolina, and a newly developed mine in Virginia. The only operation
in Texas was idle in 1979. 
 Exfoliated vermiculite was produced at 47 plants in 30 States in 1979, and
the quantity sold and used was 4,000 tons (1.5%) above the 1978 total from
49 plants in 29 States. 
Value of exfoliated vermiculite sold and used in 1979 was $51.2 million compared
with $49 million in 1978. W. R. Grace & Co. continued to be the leading
domestic producer of vermiculite concentrate and exfoliated. 
 The principal uses of exfoliated vermiculite in 1979 were for concrete aggregate,
23%; fertilizer carriers, 17%; block insulation, 16%; loose fill insulation,
15%; horticulture and soil conditioning, 14%; and premixes, 12%. 
 World production of vermiculite was 607,000 tons in 1979, a slight decline
from the 616,000 tons produced in 1978. 
Table 1.—Salient vermiculite statistics 
(Thousand short tons and thousand dollars) 
1975 
1976 
1977 
1978 
1979 
United States: 
Sold and used by producers: 
Concentrate                                 
330 
304 
359 
337 
346 
Value                                  
 Average value per ton'                     Exfoliated                  
$13,800 
$41.82 
 235 
$14,000 
$46.05 
 270 
$18,600 
$51.81 
 321 
$19,700 
$58.46 
 270 
$22,000 
$63.59 
 274 
Value                                  
Averagevalueperton'                      
ExportstoCanada                               
$36,300 
$154.47 
 45 
$42,300 
$156.67 
 41 
r$50,500 r$157.32 
e45 
$49,000' 
$181.48 e29 
$51,200 
$186.86 NA 
ImportsfromtheRepublicofSouthAfrica              
33 
40 
e40 
e33 
NA 
world:Produrtion'                                 
588 
r576 
577 
616 
e607 
eBatima~ ~ NA Not available. ' Based on rounded data. 
2Excludes production by centrally planned economy countries. 
DOMESTIC PRODUCTION 
 U.S. production of vermiculite concentrate in 1979 was 346,000 tons valued
at $22 million, an increase of 3% in quantity sold and used and an increase
of 12% in value over that in 1978. U.S. output in 1978 had decreased 6% in
quantity from that in 1977. 
 The principal vermiculite mining and 
beneficiating operations in 1979 were those of W. R. Grace & Co.
at Libby,
Mont., and Enoree, S. C. Vermiculite was also mined and processed in 1979
by Patterson Vermiculite Co. near Enoree, S. C., and by Virginia Vermiculite,
Ltd., in Louisa County, Va., whilth completed its first year of pro- 


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