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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Area reports: domestic 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 2 (1978-1979)

Boyle, James R.; Joiner, Thomas J.
Alabama,   pp. 33-41 ff. PDF (997.6 KB)


Page 37

THE MINERAL INDUSTRY OF ALABAMA 
37 
als industry. ADO administered geologic and minerals investigations conducted
by the Geological Survey of Alabama to assist potential industrial developers.
The Geological Survey of Alabama conducted investigations and published various
reports in cooperation with local, State, and Federal agencies. Mineral studies
included an evaluation of mineral resources in Lamar, Pickens, Fayette, Tuscaloosa,
and Bibb Counties for the Appalachian Regional Commission. The third-year
effort of a 5year cooperative program (related in part to mineral resources)
with county and city governments in Jefferson County was also completed.
In addition, the Survey provided assistance to the U.S. Soil Conservation
Service concerning mineral resources development in the Black Warrior River
Basin and to the Alabama Surface Mining Reclamation Commission regarding
proposed Federal strip mining regulations. The Survey investigated the geothermal-geopressure
potential of the Gulf Coastal Plain with the University of Alabama, and assisted
Auburn University in preparation of a report identifying the minerals of
Alabama. 
Project work started in the latter part of 
1978 by the Survey included a review of 
geologic and hydrologic studies required by 
Federal and State strip mining regulations. 
In addition to numerous open file reports, 
28 formal publications were issued. 
REVIEW BY NONFUEL MINERAL COMMODITIES 
NONMETALS 
 Nonmetals accounted for the bulk of the value of Alabama's total nonfuel
mineral production. 
 Asphalt (Native)..—Alabama ranked third in the Nation in production
of native asphalt. Southern Stone Co. produced native asphalt at the Margerum
quarry in Colbert County. Annual output declined 19% in 1978, but returned
to the previous level in 1979. 
 Cement.—Cement accounted for more than one-third of the value
of nonmetallic
mineral production. Nationally, Alabama rankea third in the production of
masonry cement and seventh in portland cement. 
 Portland cement was produced at seven plants in the State; three were located
in Jefferson County, and one each in Marengo, Mobile, St. Clair, and Shelby
Counties. Major end uses for portland cement were as follows: Ready-mix concrete,
concrete products, building materials, and highway construction. 
 In 1978 and 1979, raw materials used in making cement totaled over 7 million
tons of cement rock, limestone, clay, sand, shale, iron ore, oyster shell,
and other materials. 
Table 4.—Alabama: Portland cement 
salient statistics 
(Short tons) 
1978 
1919 
Number of active plants - 
Production           
7 
2,954,787 
7 
2,681,824 
Shipments from mills: 
Quantity           
Value             
2,837,074 
$108,972,171 
2,577,793 
$103,186,956 
Stocks at mills, Dec. 31 — - 
161,897 
273,053 
Table &—.Alabama: Masonry cement salient statistics 
(Short tons) 
1978 
1979 
Number of active plants — Production            
Shipments from mills: 
Quantity           
 Value            Stocks at mills, Dec. 31 - - 
6 
354,772 
356,491 
$17,293,261 
22,648 
6 
307,802 
302,624 
$13,929,963 
29,100 
 Ideal Basic Industries, Inc.'s new 1.5million-ton-per-year dry process plant
at Theodore is scheduled to be onstream in 1981. This plant, estimated to
cost $17.5 million in 1977 dollars, will eventually replace the present Mobile
plant. Southern Industries Corp. will transport by barge approximately 3
million tons per year of limestone, sand, and clay from Ideal's new quarry
in Monroe County to the new plant. 
 Clays.—In 1978 and 1979, Alabama's clay industry produced common
clay,
fire clay, kaolin, and bentonite. The State ranked third nationally in the
production of kaolin and fourth in bentonite and fire clay. During 1978,
30 companies mined clay at 53 pits in 21 counties; 19 companies mined common
clay at 28 pits; 5 companies mined fire clay at 6 pits; 5 companies mined
kaolin in 17 pits; and 1 company mined bentonite at 2 pits. Of the 53 pits,
90% of the total production of clays came from 33 pits. In 1979, industry
production and structure were comparable to those of the previous year. 
 National Gypsum Company plans an expansion of its American Olean Tile Company
subsidiary with the construction of a new quarry tile plant in Fayette. The
plant, 


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