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

Ampian, Sarkis G.
Clays,   pp. 301-327 ff. PDF (2.9 MB)


Page 309

 
 1971 1972 
State 
 Short tons Value Short tons Value 
432,689 
348,043 
2,580 
$12,220,273 
7,729,590 
50,591 
353,473 
405,170 
2,080 
$9,709,923 
9,053,440 
41,857 
230,602 
4,019,162 
227,815 
4,012,899 
 CLAYS 309 
the amount of lower cost bentonite shipped for iron ore pelletizing. Exports
in previous years -consisted of a larger percentage of the lower cost pelletizing
grades. 
Domestic bentonite producers were facing 
increased competition in foreign markets. Bentonite from the Greek island
of Milos was reportedly being blended with the U.S. clay for pelletizing
Canadian taconite ores on a large scale. 
 Bentonite was exported t-o 71 countries, a decrease of 4 from the previous
year. The major recipients were Canada, 56%; Australia, 9%; West Germany,
7%; United Kingdom and Singapore, 6%; each; and others, 16%. Domestic bentonite
producers reported the end use of their exports were iron ore pelietizing,
43%; foundry sand, 40%; drilling mu-d, 13%; and others, including animal
feed, oil refining catalysts, and waterproofing and sealing, 4%. 
 Table 13.—U.S. exports of bentonite as 
 reported by producers in 1972, by use 
Use Short 
tons 
Drillingmud 56,666 
Foundry sand 167,130 
Pelletizing (iron ore) 183,458 
Other' 15,840 
 Total 423,094 
' Includes animal feed, oil refining catalysts, waterproofing and sealing,
and other uses. 
FULLER'S EARTH 
 Production of fuller's earth in 1972 declined 3% in quantity and the total
value declined 5%. The unit value assigned by domestic producers decreased
$0.61 in 1972 to $23.08 per ton. This decrease in value was due primarily
to the lower values reported by Florida producers. Georgia producers reported
modest increases in unit value. 
 Fuller's earth product-ion was reported from -operations in eight States.
The top two producing States, Georgia (41%) and Florida (36%), accounted
for 77% of the domestic production. The other six States accounted for the
remaining 23%. Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee showed gains in production,
while Illinois, California, Florida, Texas, and Utah declined. 
 Fuller's earth is defined as a nonplastic clay or claylike material, usually
high in magnesia, which has adequate decolorizing and purifying properties.
 Production from the region that includes Attapulgus (Decatur County'), Ga.,
and Quincy (Gadsden County), Fla., is composed predominantly of the distinct
lathshaped amphibole -clay mineral attapulgite. Most of the fuller's earth
produced in the other areas of the United States contains varieties of montmorillonite.
 Prices for fuller's earth were not publicly quoted in 1972, but the per-ton
values reported by producers ranged from $14 to about $29. 
Table 14.—Fuller's earth sold or used by producers in the United States,
by State 
Florida 
Georgia 
Utah 
Other States'________________________________ 
 Total 1,013,914 24,019,616 988,538 22,818,119 
' Includes California, Illinois, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas. 
 Exports of fuller's earth to 40 countries increased from 27,000 short tons
in 1971 to 39,000 tons valued at $1.7 million in 1972. Export tonnage increased
44% and its valued increased nearly 47%. The unit value of exported fuller's
earth rose nearly $0.68 per ton. The major recipients were the United Kingdom,
26%; Canada, 21%; acid other countries, the remaining 53%. 
 Imports of fuller's earth in 1972 were 43 short tons valued at $3,000, all
from the United Kingdom. Imports increased nearly 
23%. 
COMMON CLAY 
 The domestic production of comnioii clay and shale in 1972 totaled 46.1
million short tons valued at $74.0 million. Corn- 


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