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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 1 (1978-1979)

Kostick, Dennis S.; DeFilippo, Ronald J.
Fluorspar,   pp. 341-357 ff. PDF (1.9 MB)

Page 342

Table 1.—Salient fluorspar statistics' 
 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 
1L)(~ not include fluosilicic acid and imports of hydrofluoric acid and cryolite.
2F.o.b. foreign port in 1974; c.i.f. U.S. port, in 1975-78. 
3Apparentconsumption includes finished shipments plus imports, minus exports,
minus consumer stocks increase. 
United States: 
 Mineproduction    short tons — 
 Material beneficiated    do_ - - - 
 Material recovered     do_~ 
 Finished (shipments)    do~~ 
 Value f.o.b. mine thousand& - 
 Exports             short tons~ 
 Value        thousands_ 
 Imports for consumption short tons - 
 Value2        thousands~ 
 Consumption (reported)  short thns - 
 Consumption (apparent)3          
 Stocks, Dec. 31: 
 Domestic mines: 
 Finished      do 
 Consumer do~~ 
World:Production do__ 
 376,601 611,133 613,000 447,876 407,054 
 401 477 574,678 538,000 447,560 355,655 
 132,060 182,582 164,600 124,947 106,099 
 139,913 188,270 169,489 129,428 109,299 
 $14,888 $17,927 $16,479 $13,261 $12,162 
 1,384 4,923 6,642 8,267 14,454 
 $234 $764 $975 $978 $1,339 
 1,050,448 895,254 971,355 916,703 1,021,085 
 $66,899 $64,881 $69,457 $67,569 $80,090 
 1,244,938 1,273,498 1,162,336 1,203,448 1,135,451 
 1,300,067 1,120,970 1,191,000 1,062,988 1,090,665 
 277,783 r4,894,336 
 226,320 r5,146,217 
company maintained a flotation mill and shipping facilities at Rosiclare
and two heavy media plants, one at the Knight mine and the other at the Heavy
Media Plant Shaft. Ozark began shaft sinking at its recently discovered Denton
ore body in Hardin County and completed an 1,800-foot crosscut from its Barnett
Mine to intersect more ore in the west vein area. Allied Chemical Corp. operated
its Spivey mine and Minerva No. 1 mine, heavy media plant, and flotation
mill in Hardin County. In September 1979, however, mining operations at Allied's
mines were suspended pending the sale of these properties. Corporate decisions
to divest Allied's interests in fluorspar mining prompted this suspension.
The only other active fluorspar producer in Illinois was the Hastie Trucking
and Mining Co., which operated several open pits and a small heavy media
concentrator at Spar Mountain near Cave-in-Rock. Hastie's primary products
were a metallurgical gravel spar and construction aggregate. The company
leased the former Victory mine property from Allied and was preparing to
begin limited underground mine production there. 
The only other active fluorspar operation in the East in 1978 was Frontier
Spar Corp. of Salem, Ky., which temporarily shut down its Babb-Barnes mine
and mill, but continued exploration in Livingstone County and further development
at its Lasher-Robinson mine. Due to the decline in domestic demand and production,
there were no shipments of fluorspar from Kentucky in 1979. 
In the West, Tonto Mining and Milling Co. operated a flotation plant during
the first half of 1978 at Tonto Basin, Ariz. 
Western Fluorspar Co. of Gila County, Ariz., had its ore custom milled by
Tonto. In 1978 and 1979, J. Irving Crowell Jr. & Sons operated its
Daisy mine in Beatty, Nev., selling the output locally. D & F Minerals
Co. continued operation of its Paisano mine 80 miles south of Alpine, Tex.;
production from this mine was used by a fluorspar briquet producer. 
Although there had been no recorded fluorspar production in Tennessee since
1943, U.S. Borax and Chemical Corp. continued an active fluorspar exploration
program near Sweetwater, Monroe County. Over the history of this program,
more than 210 holes have been drilled, ranging in depth from 300 to 1,000
feet. A potential ore body of 26 million tons was indicated. By yearend 1979,
a 490-foot exploration shaft was nearly completed. Borax plans to have a
1,700-foot exploration drift driven from the bottom of the shaft into the
center of the ore body at the 500-foot level. 
A study of domestic fluorspar briquet producers determined that in 1978,
the total maximum annual capacity for domestic briquet producers was 802,000
tons (based on a 24 hour-per-day operation).~ Actual reported production
of briquets (made mostly from foreign ores) was about 200,000 tons in 1978.
Historically, there has been intense competition for the major share of the
steel fluxing market between the briquet producers and the gravel spar producers,
who are principally located in Mexico. In 1978, briquets accounted for slightly
less than half of the steel fluxing market. 
Eleven plants recovered about 70,000 tons of H2SiFe in 1978 as a byproduct
of the wet- 

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