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

Foster, Russell J.
Salt,   pp. 751-762 PDF (1.1 MB)


Page 752

752 
54 
32 
9 
5 
 MINERALS YEARBOOK, 1978-79 Total yearend salt stocks as reported by 1978
and 1.5 million tons in 1979. Most wasproducers amounted to 2.2 million tons
in in the form of rock and solar salt. 
1979, as all types of salt displayed increases. Fifty companies produced
salt at 90 plants in 17 States in 1979. Over 1 million tons of salt was sold
or used by 11 of the companies, representing 81% of the national total. 
 The five leading States in the amount of salt sold or used follow: 
State 
Percent 
1978 
of total 
1979 
Louisiana                      
33 
31 
Texas                         
21 
25 
NewYork                      
14 
14 
Ohio                          
9 
9 
Michigan                       
9 
7 
Total                       
86 
86 
 The percentage of salt sold or used by domestic producers in 1978 and 1979
by type follows: 
 Percent 
 1978 1979 
Saltinbrine 52 
Minedrocksalt 34 
Vacuum-pan salt and 
 graineror open-pan salt 9 
Solar-evaporated salt 5 
 Cargill, Inc., announced plans to expand evaporated salt capacity by 40%
at Breaux Bridge, La., and rock salt capacity by 50% at Lansing, N.Y.2 The
company acquired Leslie Salt Co., the Nation's principal solar 
salt operation, based at Newark, Calif., for nearly $30 million in 1978.~
 Great Salt Lake Minerals and Chemicals Corp. completed construction of a
new salt plant at Ogden, Utah, in 1979. The facility has tripled the company's
processed salt capacity.4 
 International Salt Co. reported capacity increases at Avery Island, La.,
with the introduction of new loading and hauling units, and at Retsof, N.Y.,
because of improvements in underground transportation and hoisting.~ 
 Carey Salt Co. was purchased by Processed Minerals, Inc., a wholly owned
subsidiary of Canadian Pacific Investments, Ltd.6 
 Mild weather at the onset of the 1979-80 winter diminished the possibility
of a deicing salt shortage in the Midwest that was expected because of several
factors affecting rock salt availability in 1979. An explosion closed the
Patterson, La., mine of Cargill, Inc., from early June to the beginning of
December. Production at Morton Salt Co.'s Weeks, La., operation was reduced
coincident with the conversion of the mine to a strategic petroleum reserve
storage site prior to the completion of a replacement salt mine. A strike
of 3 mQnths' duration occurred at International Salt Co.'s Cleveland, Ohio,
site. In addition rock salt stockpiles were reduced by heavy demand in the
previous winter, and transportation was reportedly difficult to obtain. 
CONSUMPTION AND USES 
 Domestic consumption of salt increased to 47.5 million tons in 1978. In
the chemical industry production of chlorine and caustic soda increased,
but synthetic soda ash output declined because of reduced capacity. Heavy
demand for highway deicing salt at the beginning of 1978, coupled with transportation
difficulties caused by frozen waterways, created shortages in certain regions.
 In 1979 salt consumption in the United States reached an estimated 50.3
million 
tons, primarily because of greater chlorine and caustic soda output. The
decline in salt demand for synthetic soda ash production continued as only
one plant remained onstream. Concern over the aforementioned possibility
of a deicing salt shortfall prompted many consumers to attempt to secure
supplies well in advance of the 197980 winter season. 
Salt usage by the water-conditioning and oil industries continued to climb
significantly in both years. 
STOCKS 


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