Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Area reports: domestic 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 2 (1978-1979)
Krempasky, George T.
Washington, pp. 553-561 ff. PDF (865.4 KB)
553The Mineral Industry of Washington This chapter has been prepared under a Memorandum of Understanding between the Bureau of Mines, U.S. Department of the Interior, and the Washington Division of Geology and Earth Resources for collecting information on all nonfuel minerals. By George T. Krempasky1 The value of nonfuel mineral production in Washington was $180 million in 1978 and $225 million in 1979. The nonmetals— cement, clays, gem stones, diatomite, gypsum, lime, olivine, peat, pumice, sand and gravel, stone, sulfur, and talc—accounted for more than 70% of the total output value. The metals—-copper, gold, lead, silver, and tungsten—accounted for the remainder. With seven aluminum reduction plants, Washington was the leading State in primary aluminum production. Raw material used in the production of aluminum was imported, largely from Australia. Exploration and development continued in the State to increase the resource reserve base of known mineral commodities. At Republic, gold-mining operations of Day Mines, Inc., have resumed. Continued exploration at Mt. Tolman has shown a richer copper-molybdenum deposit than originally thought.. Production of nonmetals, especially construction materials, continued at relatively high rates. Cement was manufactured at four plants, most counties produced sand and gravel, and various counties produced stone. Clays were produced in eight counties; diatomite in Grant County, olivine in Skagit and Whatcom Counties, and talc and soapstone in Skagit County. Trends and Developments.—Historically, Washington has not been a large mineral producer. However, the Department of Nat- ural Resources plans to carry out a legislative mandate to encourage investment by the mining industry. The department is developing a program to update and expand its knowledge of the State's mineral resource base; the intent is to include economic analyses and projections indicating at what price resources will become economic. Projections are expected to include adoption of new techniques for mining and processing as well as projected supply and demand. In addition, the studies are intended to include environmental impact analysis to determine how adverse impacts can be mitigated. During the period 1978-79, the Secretary of the Interior designated 31 schools and universities, including the University of Washington in Seattle, as State Mining and Mineral Resources and Research Institutes under Title III of Public Law 95-87. The act provides for annual allotments to one designated institute in each participating State through fiscal year 1984; it also provides for research and scholarship grants to each institute. The institutes are to establish training programs in mining and minerals extraction, and to provide scholarships and fellowships. Each institute initially received a basic grant of $110,000, and $160,000 for scholarships and fellowships. The Washington Department of Ecology
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