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

Burgin, Lorraine B.
Arizona,   pp. 53-75 ff. PDF (2.9 MB)


Page 55

COPPER 
 THE MINERAL INDUSTRY OF ARIZONA 55 Figure 1.—Value of mine production
of copper andproduction in Arizona. total value of nonfuel mineral 
billion in 1979, achieving over three-fourths of metal output in the State
and ranking first in the Nation for both years. 
 The increase in the value of Arizona's mined metal output is attributed
not only to the rise in the price of copper but also to the dramatic rise
in the price of the byproduct metals recovered from the copper ores. Again,
in 1978 and 1979, production of those byproduct metals made Arizona the second
largest producer of molybdenum and silver and the fourth largest producer
of gold. Arizona produced just over 65% of the Nation's copper during the
biennium. 
 Sand and gravel, portland cement, lime, and crushed stone were the leading
coinmodities in the nonmetals group in 1978 and 1979. In 1979, decreases
were posted both in amount and value for the production of pumice, clay and
shale, perlite, asbestos, and fluorspar. 
 Trends and Developments.—At the beginning of 1978, copper prices
were
near the bottom of a price cycle that had been in a general downtrend for
several years. Copper markets were depressed, production curtailed, costs
escalating, and labor disputes interrupting operations. Several large 
3,000 
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< 2,000 
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0 
0 
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0 
-J 
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0— 1977 
1980 
mines had curtailed operations, and some producing and developing operations
had been suspended. This situation began to change during 1978 as copper
consumption increased; and by yearend, significantly reduced world stocks
generated an upward trend in prices. Prices of molybdenum, silver, and gold
also were climbing dramatical 
ly. 
 Output of most major mineral commodities in Arizona continued to trend upward
during 1978-79. 
 The prevailing and persistent trend in Arizona in recent years has been
an expanding and diversifying minerals industry, from exploring to fabrication
of various metal products. Although copper still predominated in 1978-79,
other mineral discoveries, new mines, enlarged facilities, evolving technologies,
and changing economics steadily increased the capacities and variety of Arizona's
minerals industry. The State's mineral production in the decade 1967-77 increased
240% in value to reach 
$1.7 billion in 1978, and then again reached an ailtime high of nearly $2.5
billion in 
1979. 
1985 


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