Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Area reports: domestic 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 2 (1978-1979)
Harrison, Donald K.
West Virginia, pp. 563-570 PDF (733.8 KB)
563The Mineral Industry of West Virginia This chapter has been prepared under a Memorandum of Understanding between the Bureau of Mines, U.S. Department of the Interior, and the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey, for collecting information on all nonfuel minerals. By Donald K. Harrison1 The value of West Virginia's nonfuel mineral production in 1978 and 1979 was $103.5 million and $118.6 million, respectively. Both quantity and value of mineral output increased in each consecutive year since 1977. In 1979, crushed stone accounted for 32% of the total nonfuel mineral value in the State. The combined value of cement, fire clay, lime, and salt production in 1979 added another 36% to the total. Salt production continued to be utilized primarily by chemical companies for the manufacture of chlorine and caustic soda. The chemical industry in West Virginia contributes the largest share of value added to the State's gross manufacturing product. West Virginia is one of the leading manufacturers of glassware because of the abundance and quality of industrial sand in the State. In 1979, there were 29 companies involved in glassmaking employing 64,000 workers earning $70 million. Trends and Developments.—In 1979 West Virginia reached an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency to coordinate environmental activities. The agreement is a new approach designed to address, coordinate, and resolve environmental problems in the State. Major areas of focus include acid mine drainage, hazardous waste handling and disposal, and solid waste management. Despite an increase in the production of crushed stone in the State, local shortages occurred. The State Department of Highways' road stabilization program, aimed at improving the State's road system, raised the demand for aggregate above normal levels. The shortage forced many road contractors to obtain stone from as far away as Indiana and Kentucky. In 1977, the highway agency earmarked $2 million for the program but expanded the figure in 1978 to nearly $15 million. Investments in new and expanded processing and manufacturing plants directly dependent on mineral raw materials fell to $30 million in 1978 from $40.5 miffion in 1977. Investments in 1979 made a marked recovery, amounting to $42 million. As a result, more than 1,300 jobs were created by the new and additional processing facilities. Legislation and Government Programs~—.In late 1978, the Secretary of the Interior designated West Virginia University at Morgantown as a State Mining and Mineral Resources and Research Institute West Virginia University is one of 31 schools and universities in the United States chosen to establish training programs in mining and minerals extraction pursuant to Title ifi of Public Law 95-87. Annual allotments were provided to the university through fiscal 1984. The institute initially received a basic grant of $110,000
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