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

Aase, James H.; West, Wanda J.; Anderson, Raymond R.
Iowa,   pp. 201-211 ff. PDF (1.1 MB)

Page 205

 The Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) announced plans in 1979 to add 11
acres of building space to expand the production capacity of its plant in
the Davenport suburb of Riverdale. The plant already is the largest aluminum
sheet, plate, and foil rolling mill in the world. The expansion is intended
to meet the sharply increasing worldwide demand for heat-treated aluminum
in the aerospace and automotive industries. When the expansion project is
finished in 3 to 4 years, employment will increase by about 340 workers to
a total work force of about 3,540 people. 
 Alpha Crushed Stone, Inc.'s Lyons quarry at Clinton was the recipient of
the "Outstanding Achievement Award" from the National Crushed Stone
for its effort during 1978 in developing and implementing site beautification
 During 1979, Martin-Marietta Aggregates 
initiated activities to develop two of its limestone properties into underground
mining operations. The company is driving a decline at the site of its proposed
Waterloo operation and is preparing to start driving an entry into the existing
quarry face at its Ferguson property. 
 During the biennium 1978-79, the Iowa Geological Survey prepared more than
two score of reports and publications relating to investigations made on
mineral and water resources and the geology of the State. Reports of special
interest covering the State's mineral resources included: Gypsum Resources
of the Fort Dodge Area, 1978, Public Information Circular No. 9; Matlock
Taconite Body, 1979, Open File Report; An Introduction to the Stratigraphic
Palynology of the Cherokee Group (Pennsylvanian) Coal of Iowa, 1979, Technical
Paper No. 6; and Coal Resource Program Report, 1979. 
 Cement.—The total value of shipments in 1978 increased to a new
high for the eighth consecutive year. Although the quantity produced increased
slightly over that of the previous year, it was still less than the record
output of 1973. Iowa ranked 9th in the Nation in production of portland cement
and 17th in masonry cement output. 
 Five companies operated 13 kilns at 3 wet-process and 2 dry-process plants.
Two companies operated plants located in Mason City, two in Des Moines, and
one in Buffalo. 
 Portland cement shipments increased both in quantity and value in 1978 over
that of the previous year. The average value of portland cement sold by the
Iowa manufacturers during the year was $40.56 per ton. Ready-mix companies
were the largest users of the State's portland cement production, consuming
about two-thirds of the output, followed, in descending order, by concrete
product manufacturers, highway contractors, building material dealers, and
minor amounts to government agencies, and other customers. Most of the shipments
were made in bulk, with only minor amounts shipped in containers. Truck transportation
was utilized in making the majority of the shipments and rail accounted for
the remainder. 
 Masonry cement shipments in 1978 increased slightly in quantity and value
that of the previous year. The average value of masonry cement sold in 1978
was $61.28 per ton, a $2.84 per ton increase over that sold the previous
 Approximately 4.4 million tons of nonfuel minerals and related raw materials
were consumed in the producton of 2.7 million tons of finished cement in
Iowa during 1978. 
 A $25 million modernization and expansion program was completed at Lehigh
Portland Cement Co.'s Mason City plant during 1978. The program, started
in late 1976, included the installation of a new 13- by 184-foot coal-fired
kiln and support facilities that allow for retirement of six old kilns. Plant
capacity was increased about 20% to 750,000 tons per year. Lehigh, a wholly
owned subsidiary of the Portland-Zementwerke, Heidelberg A.G. since 1977,
also replaced much of its quarry loading, hauling, and crushing equipment,
as a part of the modernization program. 
 The Martin-Marietta Corp. began studies early in 1978 for a proposed new
cement plant to replace its existing facility at Buffalo, near Davenport.
The studies focused on the size and cost of a dry-process plant with more
capacity and greater operating efficiencies than those of the existing 500,000ton-per-year
wet-process plant. Near the end of 1978, the company announced that Kaiser
Engineers of Oakland, Calif. had been commissioned to proceed with detailed
engineering and procurement phases for 

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