Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)
Sullivan, Daniel E.; Baker, Jeannette L.; Theofilos, Nicholas G.
Review of the mineral industries, pp. 1-59 ff. PDF (6.2 MB)
562 563 564 565 566 2 MINERALS YEARBOOK, 1972 Figure 1.—Indexes of physical volume of mineral production in the United States, by group. was designed to be a transition between the freeze of Phase I and less stringent controls. Legislation approved by Congress during 1972 covered many subjects of concern to the minerals industries. These included the environment, water, public land, black-lung disease benefits, consumer safety, the price of gold, and the strategic stockpile. Bureau of Mines research programs continued to be directed toward developing more effective, efficient and less costly extraction, processing, and utilization techniques; improving mine safety; increasing the recovery of secondary resources; and eliminating pollution problems. The demand for energy continued to be strong, especially for clean-burning fuels. Domestic fuels production expanded at a slower rate than consumption, more fuels were imported, and there were some fuel shortages. Underground mining of coal declined for the third consecutive year primarily because of health and safety regulations. Surface mining increased, and, for the first time in the history of the industry, output from strip mines exceeded that of deep mines. In petroleum, major concerns were import quotas and the construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline. The pipeline would bring Alaskan oil to the contiguous 48 States, but unsettled environmental decisions have delayed its construction. The metals industry reflected the economy as a whole in 1972. Prices increased as did the demand for metals. There were no major strikes, but concern over environmental problems was widely felt. Output in the nonmetallic mineral industries was high during 1972, despite the fact that environmental problems were significant throughout the industry. The long-run growth in world trade was maintained in 1972 in spite of turmoil in the international monetary system. The outlook for future modifications in the system appeared good. U.S. balance of payments improved in 1972, although a large deficit still remained. SOURCES AND USES ALL MINERALS Production.—In 1972, domestic production of primary minerals and mineral fuels was valued at $32.2 billion. In 1967 constant dollars, the value of mineral production was $27.0 billion. The value of metals and nonmetals each increased about 7% and mineral fuels advanced 4% over 1971. The Bureau of Mines total index of physical volume of mineral production 30 20 0 2 IC F-. (0 !? DC ' C I&3 ~ Sc 70 (1967 = 100) increased 2.5% to 112.6 points in 1972. The average for metals increased 4.3% to 127.5 points. Within this group ferrous metals increased 1.5% and nonferrous metals increased 5.7%. In the nonferrous index, base metals increased 7.8%, monetary metals declined 5.4%, and other nonferrous 2.7%. The average for nonmetals increased 5.8%. Construction, chemical, and other nonmetals increased at rates
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