Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 1 (1978-1979)
Foster, Russell J.
Salt, pp. 751-762 PDF (1.1 MB)
Salt 751 By Russell J. Foster1 The amount of domestically produced salt sold or used by U.S. producers decreased to 42.9 million tons in 1978, but made a strong recovery to 45.8 million tons in 1979. The quantity of all types of salt sold or used increased in 1979 in contrast to the previous year, when only solar salt exhibited a gain. Imports exceeded 5 million tons each year. Legislation and Government Programs.—The Bureau of Mines has funded a cooperative agreement with the Solution Mining Research Institute to identify the mechanics and causes of sinkholes and to develop methods and design criteria for preventing or predicting sinkhole occurrence at salt solution mines. The Mine Safety and Health Administration reclassified four Louisiana rock salt mines as "gassy" in 1979 because of detected levels of methane. These operations must now comply with additional safety regulations regarding permissible equipment and blasting procedures. A report by a select scientific committee on the health effects of sodium as a food additive was presented to the Food and Drug Adp~inistration (FDA). The committee recommended a reduction in sodium chloride consumption by the population. If FDA concurs, sodium would be subject to regulations covering processed food additives, which could lead to limits on the amount of salt in foods or requirement of label disclosure. The U.S. Department of the Interior has selected Virginia Beach, Va., and Alamogordo, N. Mex., as the first two sites for predesign studies of major desalination demonstration plants using state-of-the-art technology. Table 1.—Salient salt statistics (Thousand short tons and thousand dollars) 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 United States: Production' 41,710 43,801 42,922 42,878 46,317 Sold or used by producers' Value Exports Value 41,030 $368,063 1,332 $9,070 44,191 $430,959 1,007 $10,326 43,412 $451,579 1,008 $10,881 42,869 $499,345 776 $9,795 45,793 $538,352 e793 $9,489 Imports for consumption Value Consumption, apparent World: Production 3,215 $15,272 42,913 178,207 4,352 $23,476 47,536 r176305 4,529 $26,694 46,933 174,567 5,380 $34,247 47,473 180,505 5,275 $40,860 e50275 184,958 eEstimath rSovised ' Excluding Puerto Rico: Estimated 27,000 short tons per year (197579). DOMESTIC PRODUCTION The quantity of domestic salt sold or used by producers in 1978 decreased to 42.9 million tons, with only solar salt showing a gain. In 1978, 50 companies operated 90 saltproducing plants in 17 States. Thirteen of the companies sold or used over 1 million tons each, accounting for 85% of the U.S. total. Domestic producers sold or used 45.8 million tons of salt of their own production in
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