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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 206

the construction of an $80 million, 850,000ton-per-year plant, slated for
completion in late 1980. Groundbreaking and the start of construction occurred
in March 1979. The new plant, a four-stage precalcining, dryprocess facility,
is being designed to produce cement for slightly more than half the energy
required by the existing plant, which will continue operating until the new
facility is completed. 
 The Monarch Cement Co. of Humboldt, Kans., purchased the Marquette Co. cement
plant in Des Moines in May 1979. Monarch will continue operations at the
facility. The Des Moines plant employed 185 persons, including those who
operated a quarry in Winterset. The plant makes portland and masonry cements
and has an annual capacity of about 370,000 tons. 
 Clays—Production of common clay and shale in 1978 increased slightly
in both quantity and value over that of 1977. The average value of the clay
and shale produced in the State during 1978 was $3.01 per ton, a $0.22 per
ton increase over that of the previous year. 
 Production during 1978 was obtained from 14 mines operated by 11 companies
located in 12 counties. Three firms produced nearly two-thirds of the total
State output. Cerro Gordo County was the leading county in the State in clay
 Portland cement manufacturing was the largest user of the clay produced
in the State during 1978, consuming 43% of the output. Other uses of the
clay, in descending order of amounts consumed, included the manufacturing
of building brick, drain tile, lightweight aggregate for concrete block,
sewer pipe, and roof tile. 
 Gypsum.—Production of crude gypsum in 1978 increased both in quantity
and value compared to the previous year. The average value of crude gypsum
produced during the year was $7.60 per ton, a $1.30 per ton increase over
that of 1977. 
 Nationally, Iowa ranked second among the States in value of crude gypsum
production, exceeded only by Michigan. The 1978 output was a new record,
surpassing the previous high established in 1977. 
 During 1978, gypsum was produced by five companies operating seven mines
in three counties. Underground mines were operated by United States Gypsum
Co. near Sperry in Des Moines County and Kaser Corp. near Harvey in Marion
County. Surface mine operations were conducted by United States Gypsum, National
Co., Georgia-Pacific Corp., and Jim Walter Corp. at sites around Fort Dodge
in Webster County. All companies, except Kaser Corp., calcined a portion
of their output at plants near the mine sites. 
 Lime.—Production of lime in 1978 increased sharply in quantity
value over that of the previous year. Linwood Stone Products Co., Inc., in
Scott County was the State's sole producer of quicklime and hydrated lime.
 The major uses of the output included water purification, water softening,
and in steel furnace operations. 
 Peat.—Four companies produced either moss, humus, or reed-sedge
from bogs in Hancock, Linn, Winnebago, and Worth Counties. The principal
type of peat produced was reed-sedge, which was sold mostly in bulk for use
in golf courses. Other uses of the peat were for mixed fertilizers, general
soil improvement, potting soils, nurseries, and vegetable growing. 
 Perlite.—Crude perlite mined in other States was expanded by National
Gypsum Co. and United States Gypsum Co. at their Fort Dodge gypsum calcining
plants in Webster County during the biennium 1978-79. The entire output was
used for plaster aggregate. 
 Sand and Gravel.—Production of construction sand and gravel in
increased modestly in quantity and value over that of the previous year.
The average value of the output was $2.11 per ton. Production was obtained
from 226 deposits, operated by 128 companies, located throughout 80 of Iowa's
99 counties. Polk County, number one in the State in terms of population,
had the largest output. Six companies, operating from 54 pits, produced more
than 500,000 tons each and accounted for about 40% of the total State output.
 Quantities of construction sand and gravel obtained from the individual
pit operations varied widely. In 1978, approximately 38% of the operations
produced less than 25,000 tons; 35% between 25,000 and 
100,000 tons; 26% between 100,000 and 
500,000 tons; and the remainder between 
500,000 and 1,500,000 tons. 
 The major use of the construction sand and gravel produced was for concrete
aggregate which accounted for about half of the total. Other uses included
roadbase and coverings, fill, asphaltic concrete, and minor amounts for concrete
products, plaster and gunite sands, and snow and ice control. 

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