Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Area reports: domestic 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 2 (1978-1979)
Starch, Karl E.
Colorado, pp. 105-121 ff. PDF (2.2 MB)
106 MINERALS YEARBOOK, 1978-79 Table 1.—Nonfuel mineral production in Colorado' 1977 1978 1979 Value Value Value Mineral . Quantity ~ (thou- sands) Quantity (thousands) Quantity (thou sands) Clays2 - — — — — — — thousand~ short tons_ — Copper (recoverable content of ores, etc.) metric tons_ — Gemstones 961 1,720 NA $4,712 2,533 100 548 1,191 NA $2,753 1,747 75 521 362 NA $2,717 742 70 Gold (recoverable content of ores, etc.) troy ounces — — Gypsum thousand short tons — Lead (recoverable content of ores, etc.) metric tons~ Lime_ - thousand short tons - Peat — do~_.. 72,668 211 20,860 180 32 10,777 1,121 14,118 5,413 195 32,094 235 15,151 W 30 6,212 882 11,257 W 188 13,850 275 7,554 W 33 4,259 1,727 8,767 W 299 Sand and gravel do — — — Silver (recoverable content of ores, etc.) thousand troy ounces — Stone: ~23,910 4,663 ~50,527 21,545 26,493 4,217 58,596 22,773 25,680 2,809 ~56,263 31,151 Crushed — — — — thousand short tons_ — Dimension do.__ 5,597 5 14,169 181 6,229 5 15,683 178 6,835 3 19,435 163 Zinc (recoverable content of ores, etc.) metric tons— — Combined value of beryllium (1978), carbun dioxide, cement, clays (bentonite), feldspar (1977-78), iron ore, molybdenum, perlite, pumice, pyrites, salt, sand and gravel (industrial, 1977 and 1979), 36,530 27,704 22,208 15,178 9,910 8,149 . tin, tungsten concentrate, vanadium, and values indicated by symbol W — — — — Total )Q( r384,445 XX 506,304 XX 692,356 )Q( r537 540 XX 641,826 XX 826,098 NA Not available. rRe~sed W Withheld to avoid disclosing company proprietary date; value included in "Combined value" figure. XX Not applicable. ' Production as measured by mine shipments, sales, or marketable production (including consumption by producers). 2Excludes bentonite; value included in "Combined value" figure. 3Excludes industrial sand and gravel; value included in "Combined value" figure. Legislation and Government Programs—Colorado's mineral severance tax became law on January 1, 1978. Five categories of minerals are taxed, including molybdenum and other metallic minerals. However, since the first $11 million of gross income is exempted from the tax, no other metallic mineral mines yet qualify to be taxed. AMAX Inc., the only molybdenum producer in the State, pays $0.15 per ton of molybdenum ore produced. In 1978, the tax brought in $16 million in revenue to the State; $3.6 million from molybdenum production. Receipts from the severance tax are distributed 40% to the State's general fund, 15% to the severance trust fund, and 45% to the local government tax fund. A proposal in the 1979 legislature to double the severance tax was rejected in committee. A State law enacted in 1979 allows companies developing new mineral operations to "prepay" severance taxes directly to affected local governmental agencies, including school districts, so that funds are available when most needed to meet the costs of increased population related to the new mining operation. The Federal Mine Safety Act of 1977, effective March 1978, transferred responsibility for mine safety inspection from the State Division of Mines to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) of the U.S. Department of Labor. The role of the State Division of Mines became one of training certification, education of miners, and to provide technical assistance to small mine owners. In 1979, State mine safety statutes were rewritten as the State sought a continuing role in mine safety inspection of small mines. The future role of the State Division of Mines is still uncertain. Smaller mine operators supported the Colorado Legislative Memorial asking Congress to let States regulate mining. A Federal law enacted in 1978 provides for cleanup of abandoned radioactive uranium mill tailings in the West, with the Federal Government to pay 90% of the cleanup costs, and States to pay 10%. Colorado sites eligible for cleanup funds are Durango and Rifle (two sites each), Gunnison, Maybell, Naturita, and Slick Rock. Among contracts awarded by the Bureau of Mines during the biennium was a $159,000 contract to develop low-cost methods for sealing the surface openings to abandoned mines in western Colorado. The State received $11 million as its share of Federal mineral leasing, bonuses, royalties, and rentals for fiscal year 1979 which ran from October 1, 1978, through September 30, 1979. Under the Mineral
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