Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1977
Year 1977, Volume 1 (1977)
Collins, Cynthia T.
Iron oxide pigments, pp. 499-505 ff. PDF (697.5 KB)
499Iron Oxide Pigments By Cynthia T. Collins1 Production and trade in finished iron oxide pigments continued to rise in 1977. Increased construction and dUrable goods production during the year stimulated demand for~ pigments in building materials and coatings of all kinds. The $73.9 million value of finished iron oxide pigment sales and the $20.6 million valUe of imports indicated a $94.5 million market in 1977, compared with an $81 million market in 1976. Ground was broken in September for Mobay Chemical Corp.'s $50 million iron oxide pigment plant at New Martinsville, W.Va. The 45,000-ton-per-year-capacity plant will be the largest single iron oxide pigment facility in the United States when completed in 1981. Completion of the initial stage is planned for the third quarter of 1978. Iron oxide will be produced by the aniline-based process of Mobay's parent company, Bayer AG of the Federal Republic of Germany. The process, which involves reduction of nitrobenzene to aniline with iron, reportedly is economical and environmentally sound. Meramec Mining Co. ceased production at its Pea Ridge mine near Sullivan, Mo., on December 23.2 The company, a joint venture of Bethlehem Steel Corp. and St. Joe Minerals Corp., mined iron ore principally for production of iron and steel; they also produced, as a byproduct, a high-purity magnetite concentrate ("M-25 Oxide") which was sold for use in ferrite manufacture. St. Joe Minerals Corp. continued production of M-25 Oxide from stocks of crude ore at the Pea Ridge plant. Table 1.—Salient iron oxide pigments statistics in the United States 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 Mine production short tons.. — W W r43,335 r66,848 59,233 Crude pigments sold or used do — — — W W r40154 r59,636 55,953 Value thousands_ Iron oxides from steel plant wastes — — - — short tons.. — Value thousands..Finished pigments sold short tOns.. — Value thousands —Exports short tons._ Value thousands —Imports for consumption short tons. — Value thousands._ $931 NA NA 148,802 $43,514 9,888 $3,101 51,183 $12,005 $1,429 W W 147,544 $60,612 9,666 $3,466 54,215 $16,367 $1,093 19,252 $1,102 104,840 $46,206 8,780 $2,523 27,979 $9,184 $1,263 21,403 $1,258 135,915 $64,506 5,805 $3,353 50,102 $16,554 $1,600 20,824 $1,638 140,707 $73,851 6,493 $4,065 58,694 $20,596 r~~ed NA Not available. W Withheld to avoid disclosing company proprietary date. DOMESTIC PRODUCTION Production of finished iron oxide pigments, as measured by sales, increased 3.5% over that of 1976. Production of natural iron oxides remained very close to that of the previOus year, while synthetic pigment production increased by nearly 7%. Production of synthetic blacks, browns, and reds all showed gains, but yellows declined following a large increase in 1976. The value of overall sales was up 14.5%; this partly reflected increases in average unit values for both natural and synthetic pigments of about 9% in 1977. The average unit value of synthetic pigments was more than five times greater than that of natural oxides. Table 2 reflects sales data compiled from responses by 19 companies (see table 3) to
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