Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Area reports: domestic 1972
Year 1972, Volume 2 (1972)
Woodmansee, Walter C.
California, pp. 111-144 PDF (3.4 MB)
111The Mineral Industry of California This chapter has been prepared - under a cooperative agreement between the Bureau of Mines, U.S. Department of the Interior, and the California Department of Conservation, Division of Mines and Geology, for the collection of mineral data. - By Walter C. Woodniansee' For the first time since 1960, total value of mineral production in California declined, following the record high of 1971. Although unit prices were higher for a number of mineral commodities, a lower level of activity for several minerals led to decreased values. A large variety of minerals was produced in the State. Among them, California was of national prominence as a producer of crude petroleum and petroleum refinery products, natural gas, asbestos, boron mm. erals, cement, construction materials (days, sand and gravel, stone), diatomite, magnesium compounds, rare-earth (bastnaesite) concentrate and metals, and tungsten concentrate. During 1972, significant increases in output were recorded for nonmetals including asbestos, boron, diatomite, gypsum, magesium compounds, pumice, sand and gravel, and talc, and, among the metals, for copper, gold, molybdenum concentrate, rare earth minerals and metals, and tungsten concentrate. Output of crude oil, which was by far the most important product in terms of output value, accounting for half the total values continued in a decline. Similarly, value of natural gas output, which accounted for an additional 10% of total value, also was lower. Significant decreases were also recorded for bromine, calcium compounds, cement, clays, feldspar, lithium compounds, potash, salt, stone, iron ore, lead, mercury, silver, and zinc. Oil and gas exploration wa.s adversely affected by more stringent regulations conceming the environment, particularly in State and Federal offshore areas, where potential for new reserves was considered good. A few oil and gas discoveries were announced, but none was of sufficient importance to reverse the downward trend in production and reserves. New facilities were installed or under construction to meet environmental standards at several operations. In the petroleum industry, progress was made in practices for combatting oil spills in coastal waters and in rehabilitation of land oil sumps. Dust abatement was of continuing concern at operations for asbestos, boron, cement, clays, diatomite, gypsum, magnesium compounds, sand and gravel, and stone. Legislation and Government Programs°.— The following principal legislation directly or indirectly affecting the mineral industry in California was passed by the 1972 Regular Session of the State Legislature and signed into law by the Governor, effective March 7, 1978 (61 days after final adjournment of the Legislature): Assembly Bill (AB) 901—Provided revisions to State mining law; eliminated requirement for location work on lode and placer mining daims, thereby reducing surface damage; sought better property descriptions by requiring that affidavits for labor performed and property improvement show location by section, township, range, and meridian~ decreased incidence of daim falsification by ruling willful false statement a misdemeanor. AB 2064—Established State mining and minerals policy; authorized State Geologist to conduct investigations in mining and 1 Physical scientist, Division of Nonferroun Metals—Mineral Supply. 2Compiled largely from data provided by William H. Kerns, Bureau of Mines Liaison Officer, Sacramento, Calif. Legislation and programs relating to a specific mineral commodity are cited in the appropriate subsection of the Review of Mineral Commodities section of this chapter.
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