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

Hill, James J.; Prosser, L. J., Jr.
Illinois,   pp. 177-187 ff. PDF (1.1 MB)

Page 181

 THE MINERAL INDUSTRY OF ILLINOISlimestone and dolomite sources were evaluated
through subsurface, trace-element, and petrographic studies. Economic, geologic,
and environmental factors related to underground mining of limestone resources
were examined. Sand and gravel and peat resources were mapped, and studies
continued on the fluorspar district of southern Illinois. 
 In 1977, the Forest Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture initiated
its Roadless Area Review and Evaluation (RARE II) program. The program identified
roadless and undeveloped land areas in the National Forest System that were
suitable for wilderness use. In 1979, nine areas in the Shawnee National
Forest were evaluated and four areas (totaling 16,563 acres) were nominated
for wilderness status. Two of the areas (totaling 10,395 acres) were expected
to be the subject of further plan- 
ning. Congressional action on the areas selected for wilderness was expected
in the near future. 
 The Bureau of Land Management began a program to develop maps (1:100,000
scale) of the surface and mineral estate on lands owned by the Federal Government,
to aid in their management. In Illinois, four quadrangle maps (Cape Girardeau,
Carbondale, Paducah, and West Frankfort) had been released by 1979. 
 The Federal Bureau of Mines had 18 contracts and grants completed with State
universities and private industry that were active or had been completed
during fiscal 1978 and 1979; they totaled approximately 
$2.9 million. Sponsored projects involved minerals availability, environmental
research, metal and nonmetal mining technology, and mine health and safety.
 Abrasives.—Tripoli was extracted from underground mines in Alexander
County by Illinois Minerals Co. and Tammsco, Inc. Principal uses were as
abrasives and for filler. 
 Silicon carbide, an artificial abrasive, was produced by ESK Corp. in Putnam
County, a subsidiary of Wacker Chemical Co. Located near Hennepin, the plant
opened in 1978 with a yearly capacity of 25,000 short tons. The product was
used as an abrasive, as a refractory material, and in metallurgical applications.
 Barite.—Allied Chemical Corp. was the State's only producer of
barite in 1978 and 1979. Barite was recovered as an accessory mineral from
fluorspar mining operations at the Minerva mine in Hardin County. Barite
was used as an essential additive in drilling muds by the oil and gas industry.
Drilling mud acts as a lubricant, drill bit cooling medium, wall-caving retardant,
and preventative against blowouts. 
 Cement.—The State's portland cement shipments to consumers during
the 1970's peaked in 1978 at about 2.1 million short tons per year. A decline
occurred in 1979, but shipments still remained above the 1.8million-ton level.
 Illinois Cement Co., Inc., Marquette Co., and Medusa Corp. produced cement
in the northern part of the State in adjoining La Salle and Lee Counties.
The only operator 
in southern Illinois was Missouri Portland Cement Co. in Massac County. Of
all the cement sold in the State, 97% was type I and II (general use and
moderate heat). Ready-mix companies, concrete product manufacturers, highway
contractors, and building materials dealers were the primary consumers. Raw
materials used in the manufacture of cement included limestone, shale, fly
ash, and gypsum. Modes of cement transportation included rail, truck, and
Table 4.—Illinois: Portland cement salient 
(Short tons) 
Number of active plants - 
Shipments from mills: 
 Value — —         Stocks at mills, Dec. 31 —
 Clays.—In 1979, clay was produced in Illinois by 15 companies
at 19
mines and pits. Leading producers were American Brick Co., Cook County; and
Streator Brick Systems, Inc., La Salle and Livingston Counties. In 1978,
Ristokrat Clay Products Co. and General Dynamics Corp. both terminated operations
in La Salle County. Primary uses of common clay were for the manufacture
of face brick, common brick, sewer pipe, portland cement, and drain tile.

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