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

Potter, Michael J.
Feldspar, nepheline, syenite, and aplite,   pp. 317-325 ff. PDF (951.4 KB)

Page 317

Feldspar, Nepheline Syenite, 
and Aplite 
By Michael J. Potter1 
 Feldspar was mined in 10 States in 1978, with North Carolina in the lead
followed by Connecticut and Georgia. Other major producing States were California,
Oklahoma, and South Dakota. In 1979, only seven States were producers, with
Arizona, Colorado, and Maine no longer included. Shipments in both years
went to at least 31 States and to foreign destinations such as Canada and
Mexico. Aplite of glassmaking quality was produced only in Virginia out put
figures are not released, but output increased in 1978 and decreased slightly
in 1979. Imports of nepheline syenite increased in 1978 but showed a decrease
in 1979 
 The 1978 end use distribution of total feldspar in the United States indicated
54% going into glassmaking and 39% into pottery. The remaining 7% was used
in other applications such as enamels, soaps, sanitary ware, çtc.
The 1979 end use distribution of total U.S. feldspar was 55% in glass, 42%
in pottery, and 3% in miscellaneous. 
 As a replacement for its old deposit, the Feldspar Corp. was planning to
develop a 
new potash feldspar deposit for its Monticello, Ga., flotation plant. Further
process development work was planned, to coincide with property development
scheduled for 1979. In Maine, output of potash feldspar ceased from the mill
at West Paris In Arizona, the potash feldspar operation at Krngman shut down
in the latter part of 
 In other 1978 developments, the Glass Containers Corp., Div. of Owens-Illinois,
Inc., put into operation its most automated plant at Volney, N. Y. Fuel oil
and propane are used instead of natural gas.2 In Dayville, Conn., the Glass
Containers Corp. was using recycled glass (cullet) as a means of reducing
particulate emissions into the air and using less fuel.~ 
 Legislation and Government Programs.— According to provisions
of the
Tax Reform Act of 1969, which continued in force throughout 1978-79, the
depletion rate allowed on feldspar production (both domestic and foreign
operations) was 14%. 
Table 1.—Salient feldspar and nepheline syenite statistics 
 1975 1976 1977 
United States: 
Feldspar produced' short tons —   Value thousands.~Exports short
  Value thousand&.Imports for consumption short tons —
 2669,900  2739,7W,)  2734,000 
 2$11,730 2 2$17,530 2 ~$17,190 
 29,540 26,140 26,200 $507 $352 $394 290 93 242 $23 $18 $8 
2 ~$18,200 
2 ~$21,500 
 Imports for consumption, 
 nepheline syenite short ton&. - 
 Value thousanda... 
 Consumption, apparent4 (feldspar plus 
 nepheline syenite) thousand short tons_. — 
World production (feldspar) do.. — 
 431,100 501,200 502,600 $6,967 $8,823 $9,135 
 1,092 1,235 1,231 2,895 r3,094 T3,239 
 ' Includes hand-cobbed feldspar, flotation-concentrate feldspar, and feldspar
in feldspar-silica mixtures; also includes potash feldspar (8% K20 or higher).
 2Revised to rounded figure. 
3Data represent a more refined product and are not comparable to previous
years. 317 
 4Measured by quantity produced plus imports, minus exports (rounded figures).

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