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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)

Clifton, Robert A.
Asbestos,   pp. 169-180 PDF (956.2 KB)


Page 177

 ASBESTOS 177 
Table 8.—US. imports for consumption of asbestos from specified countries
by grade 
(Short tons) 
Grade 
. 
Canada 
1971 
Republic of South Africa 
1972 
Canada 
Southern 
Rhodesia 
Republic of 
South Africa 
Chrysotile: 
Crudes                          
 Spinning fibers                     
 All other                           Crocidolite (blue)                 
      Amosite                             
Total                          
188 
11,620 
636,782 
52 
1,655 
1 
1,822 
6,953 
14,580 
66 
11,599 
702,230 
- - 
~ 
200 
- - 
- - 
2,439 
16 
1,431 
5,374 
7,125 
648,642 
25,011 
713,895 
200 
16,385 
WORLD REVIEW 
 Trend analyses such as those shown i-n figure 1 can reveal a great deal
about the changes becoming apparent in the world market. The data were derived
by using all the information available for the last 10 years to establish
trends by linear regression analysis. The full 10-year figures were available
for the United States and Canada, and at least 4 years were available for
each of the other countries. 
 If each of the major consuming countries kept a near-constant share of an
expanding market, the result would be a straight line, as shown by Canada.
The U.S.S.R. and Japan typify those countries whose consumption rate has
increased faster than the world production rate. The United States and the
United Kingdom have gone -the opposite way. 
 The United States, with a remarkably stable consumption rate, is taking
a smaller share of the expanding market, and it is apparent that it will
soon be supplanted by the U.S.S.R. as the world's largest consumer, if this
has not already happened. 
 The same kind of analysis of Canadian data can also be informative, as shown
in figure 2. Canada is both the world's largest producer and exporter of
asbestos, and a major consumer as well. The marked divergence of the value
and production lines shows graphically the inflationary trends. The upward
slope of the production and export lines is indicative of the expanding world
market. The slight divergence between the production and export lines illustrates
that Canada's consumption growth rate exceeds that of production and that
an increasing amount of Canadian asbestos is being used domestically. 
Australia.—The Woodsreef mine and mill began operation in January 1972
and 
had such promising prospects that its parent Canadian company (formerly Pacific
Asbestos) is now officially Woodsreef Minerals, Ltd. There was an official
dedication in April and the mill was approaching full capacity throughout
by yearend. This capacity (70,000 tons per year fiber) is felt to be inadequate,
and plans for doubling it by 1975 are underway. 
 Bolivia.—The 3-year United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to assist
in establishing an asbestos industry a-t Cochabamba was terminated in 1972.
UNDP called the project a success and thought the operation could function
without further assistance. 
 Canada.—The world's largest producer rebounded from last year's drop
in production with a 3% increase in 1972. There were notds of caution from
some industry leaders saying that market expansion would proceed at a slower
rate and that new markets and applications were essential to a healthy industry.
These probably well-founded views, however, were offset by the scurry of
activity at producing mines and at those with potentials. This activity hints
at a more optimistic viewpoint. Examples of this are— 
 1. The expansion a-nd modernization of the Canadian Johns-Manville Co.,
Ltd., mine and mill at Asbestos, Quebec, has not been curtailed. The project
neared completion at yearend, and among the new facilities was the world's
largest crusher. This 800-ton gyratory crusher can accept the -full load
of a 200-ton dump truck at one time. 
2. The Asbestos Corp's new mine on the Ungava Peninsula went into production
and started shipping concentrate to Nordenheim, West Germany. Of real significance
is the news that the tailings from 


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