Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 1 (1978-1979)
Ampian, Sarkis G.
Clays, pp. 207-247 ff. PDF (4.1 MB)
207Clays By Sarkis G. Ampianh Clays in one or more of six classification categories (kaolin, ball clay, fire clay, bentonite, fuller's earth, or common clay and shale) were produced in 46 States and Puerto Rico during 1979. Clay production was not reported in Alaska, Hawaii, the District of Columbia, Rhode Island, or Vermont. The States leading in output were Georgia, 8.3 million tons; Texas, 3.9 million tons; Wyoming, 3.5 million tons; and North Carolina and Ohio, 3.4 million tons each; followed in order by Alabama, and California. Georgia also led in total value of clay output with $437.6 million; Wyoming was second with $75.0 million. Compared with 1978 figures, clay production increased in 17 States and value increased in 3~l States. Total quantity of clays sold or used by domestic producers in 1979 was 4% lower; total value rose 18% to an alitime high. Increases in value per ton were reported for all clays in 1979 owing to increased labor, fuel, and material costs. The energy crisis, or more specifically, the increasing shortage and costs of fuels, continued to cause considerable concern among clay producers and clay product manufac turers. Industrywide efforts were made both to economize and to obtain standby fuels. The costs of environmental protection equipment and environmental restrictions and rising capital costs also continued to adversely affect production during 1979. Production of the specialty clays, kaolin, ball clay, and fuller's earth all increased with the exception of bentonite and fire clay, which, together with common clay and shale, showed decreased production. A small downturn in construction that lowered demand for building materials (brick, lightweight aggregate, vitrified clay pipe, clay floor and wall tile, etc.) was responsible for the decline in production of common clay and shale. Production of kaolin increased 11%; ball clay, 5%; and fuller's earth, 3%. Bentonite and fire clay decreased 1% and 6%, respectively, largely because of a downturn in the economy which lowered the demand for steel products and refractories. Kaolin in 1979 accounted for only 14% of the total clay production but for 55% of the value. Table 1.—Salient clay and clay products statistics in the United States' (Thousand short tons and thousand dollars) 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 Domestic clays sold or used by producers: Quantity Value Exports: Quantity Value Imports for consumption: Quantity Value Clay refractories, shipments: Value Clay construction products, shipments: Value — — — 49,047 $424,556 2,315 $120,298 38 $1,947 $409,879 $655,779 52,389 $528,745 2,487 $151,953 39 $1,814 $448,471 $783,644 53,196 $579,170 2,561 $160,790 36 $1,917 $465,442 $993,508 56,822 $717,274 2,665 $194,914 25 $2,082 $497,567 $1,158,278 54,689 $846,089 3,205 $243,722 51 $3,972 $580,257 $1,179,058 ' Excludes Puerto Rico.
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