Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Area reports: domestic 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 2 (1978-1979)
Lockard, D. W.; Schilling, John H.
Nevada, pp. 337-349 ff. PDF (1.4 MB)
342 MINERALS YEARBOOK, 1978-79 stitution and Statutes. Several Federal land use plans and policies may have significant impact on the State's mineral resources. These are: (1) Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wilderness area review, as dictated by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (1976); (2) Forest Service RARE II program; and (3) proposed deployment of the MX missile sites. Under the BLM program, about 4.2 million acres were proposed as wilderness study areas; only study results and the U.S. Congress will determine how much of this land becomes wilderness. BLM also called for elimination of 11.4 million acres from further wilderness consideration. The Forest Service, in a final environmental impact statement, identified 65 separate roadless areas in Nevada totaling nearly 2.1 million acres. Of these acres, 484,175 were identified as having wilderness characteristics, 392,926 acres were held for further study, and 1,183,504 acres were classified as nonwilderness. Final decisions on disposition rest with Congress. The proposed deployment of MX missile sites may impinge on extraction and transporation of mineral products. The draft environmental impact statement, slated to be released in mid-1980, will contain proposed land withdrawal information and resource use statistics. At the end of 1979, about 100,000 mining claims had been registered with BLM in accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. Approximately 60% were new and did not exist prior to registration. During the period 1978-79, the University of Nevada, Reno, was one of 31 schools and universities nationwide which were designated by the Secretary of the Interior as a State Mining and Mineral Resources and Research Institute pursuant to Title III / of Public Law 95-87 (the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977). The Federal Bureau of Mines completed its field studies on the Goshute Indian Reservation in September 1978, and began studies on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation near Reno. The Bureau also conducted field investigation on BLM lands in the Virgin Mountain area. Sample analyses indicate a possible tungsten resource. A mineral resource appraisal on the Charles Sheldon Antelope Range, Humboldt County, was released (open file) in May 1979. U.S. Geological Survey had numerous mineral resource-oriented projects underway in Nevada. The most important was the CUSMAP study (Conterminous United States Mineral Resources Assessmment) of the Walker Lake 1' by 2' quadrangle. More than 30 professionals were involved. The Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology had many mineral-related projects in progress. Geological mapping was underway in th Camp Douglas and Moho Mountain quadrangles (Mineral County), Danville quadrangle (Nye County), and Sutcliffe quadrangle (Washoe County). Statewide studies are being made on barite, fluorite, mercury, molybdenum, and tungsten; the fluorspar report was released in 1979. Employment.—Mineral industry employment exceeded an estimated 6,600 at the end of 1979. More than 2,600 were directly employed in the metal mining sector. Total mining employment rose an estimated 20% from August 1978, to December 1979. REVIEW BY NONFUEL MINERAL COMMODITIES NONMETALS Barite.—Production of primary barite sold or used by Nevada producers increased in 1978, compared with that of 1977, and remained constant in 1979. Barite production in the State had nearly doubled since 1976, as the domestic markets for ground and crushed barite kept expanding. Nevada ranked first in the Nation in 1979 in barite production, producing nearly 72% of total output. Cement.—Output from the Nevada Ce- ment Co.'s plant at Fernley, Lyon County, rose in 1978, compared with that of 1977; production in 1979 fell below that recorded in 1977-78. During 1978, the company eliminated a blowing dust problem from an inactive slurry pond east of the plant. Clays.—Clay production in 1979 rose sevenfold from that recorded in 1977; value received increased 10 times for the same period. Output of bentonite showed the largest increase in both tonnage and value. Centex Corp. and Industrial Mineral Ventures were the State's largest producers.
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