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)
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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