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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Area reports: domestic 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 2 (1978-1979)

Lockard, D. W.; Davis, J. F.; Morton, P.K.
California,   pp. 91-103 ff. PDF (1.4 MB)


Page 91

  91The Mineral Industry of 
California 
This chapter has been prepared under a Memorandum of Understanding between
the 
Bureau of Mines, U.S. Department of Interior, and the California Division
of Mines and 
Geology, Department of Conservation, for collecting information on all nonfuel
minerals. 
By D. W. Lockard,1 J. F. Davis,2 and P. K. Morton~ 
 California's mineral production value in 1978 and 1979 totaled $1.5 billion,
and $1.8 billion respectively. This increase can be attributed to general
unit price increases and greater production of most nonmetallic minerals.
Thirty-five mineral commodities, including nine metallic minerals, were produced
in California in each of the past 2 years. Production of a number of commodities,
including asbestos, boron compounds, carbon dioxide, clays, iron ore, mercury,
perlite, rare earths, sodium carbonates, and talc, increased in 1979 when
compared with that of 1978. 
 In 1978-79, California led the Nation in the production of asbestos, boron
minerals, portland cement, diatomite, sand and gravel, rare earths, and tungsten.
The State is also a major source of sodium sulfate and carbonate, pumice,
perlite, and magnesium compounds. 
 Portland cement was the leading mineral commodity produced in terms of revenue;
it was followed by sand and gravel, boron compounds, and crushed stone. The
leading metallic commodity was iron ore, followed by tungsten. Altogether,
nomnetallics accounted for nearly 92% of the State's mineral production value
for 1978-79. 
 Employment.—California's mineral industry employment, excluding
oil
and gas 
extraction, was 10,000 at yearend 1979, a 
6% increase over that recorded at the end of 
1978. Extraction of nonmetallic and industrial minerals accounted for an
estimated 
77% of mineral industry employment. 
 Legislation and Government Programs.—Three Federal land use planning
programs developed over the past 2 years may impact the State's mineral industry:
RARE II, the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Wilderness Study, and the
California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) program. The U.S. Forest Service
(USFS), through the RARE II process, identified 899,231 acres in California
that may be desirable for wilderness classification, while also classif~ring
2,629,878 acres that needed further planning and evaluation. BLM had, by
the end of 1979, classified 1,134,000 acres as Wilderness Study Areas (WSA)
and was evaluating additional acreage for possible inclusion as a WSA. The
most controversial land management plan was the CDCA. This 12.5-million-acre
area was estab'ished in the Federal Land Planning and Management Act of 1976;
BLM is to supply Congress with a management plan by September 30, 1980. During
May 1978, BLM held 17 public meetings statewide on procedures to be followed
to develop the master plan. Mineral extraction activities are an important
economic factor in the CDCA. The area produces approximately $600 million
worth of minerals annually, including all of the Nation's boron minerals,
97% of its rare-earth metals, and 15% of its talc supply. The comprehensive
management draft plan is to be issued in early 
1980. 


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