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)
THE MINERAL INDUSTRY OF NEVADA 343 Diatomite.—Production for 1978-79 remained fairly level with that of 1977, while the value of processed material rose. Eagle Picher Industries, Inc., continued to be the largest Nevada producer, followed by the United Sierra Div. of Cyprus Mines (Standard Oil Co. of Indiana), and Grefco, Inc. Five deposits were mined. In 1979, Eagle-Picher began construction of an additional facility to manufacture diatomaceous earth products. The new plant, in Storey County, will enable the company to increase production of materials for use as oil absorbents, fertilizer coatings, and general extenders and fillers. Fluorspar.—Metallurgical grade fluorspar was produced at the J. Irving Crowell (Daisy) Mine, Nye County. Production was constant for both years, although value received for 1979 was double that of 1978. No ceramic grade fluorspar was produced in either year. Gem Stones.—Precious and semiprecious gem stones, especially turquoise, continued to be in demand in 1978-79. Accurate data on output were not available. Turquoise was known to have been produced from deposits in Lander, Churchill, Mineral, and Nye Counties, while opal was produced in Humboldt County. Gypsum.—Crude gypsum was produced in Clark, Lyon, and Pershing Counties during both years. More than 50% of the State's 1978 output came from two producers, the Flintkote Co. and Pacific Coast Building Products, Inc., in Clark County. These two firms also accounted for the bulk of the State's calcined gypsum production. Operations in Nevada produced in excess of 9% of total U.S. output in 1978. Lime.—Lime production increased in 1978 and again in 1979, compared with that of 1977. United States Lime, a division of the Flintkote Co., operated two plants in Clark County and accounted for most of the State's output. Sierra Chemicals Co. produced a limited quantity of lime in Lincoln County during 1978. Lithium Compounds.—Foote Mineral Co.'s Silver Park facility continued to be the State's only producer of lithium compounds in 1978-79. Production remained fairly constant for both years; value received rose about 10% over the same period. The major end use continued to be as a cell additive in aluminum making. Magnesite and Brucite.—Basic, Inc., remained the Nation's only magnesite producer for 1978-79. Annual production the past 3 years (1977-79) has increased slightly. There was no brucite mined during 1978-79. Perlite.—Crude perlite sales in 1978-79 were about the same as those in 1977. Two mines produced, one each in Lincoln and Pershing Counties. The entire output from United States Gypsum's operation in Pershing County was consumed at its plant in Washoe County in making expanded perlite for use as a plaster aggregate. Pumice.—Nevada's pumice industry continued to increase through 1978-79; production rose by approximately 6% per year, while value increased substantially more. The State's largest producer in 1979 was Rilite Aggregate Co., Washoe County, whose entire production was used as concrete aggregate. Other producers were Savage Construction Co., Carson City County; and Cind-R-Lite Co., Nye County. Pumice material from these operations was also used in road construction, landscaping, and roofing. Salt.—Huck Salt Co. was the sole producer of salt in 1978-79. From its operation in Churchill County, production was constant for both years. Sand and Gravel.—Sand and gravel production increased slightly in 1978 and again in 1979. Operations in Clark and Washoe Counties accounted for the bulk of the State's output. A total of 94 quarries were worked in 1978. Stone.—Eleven companies produced crushed stone from 21 quarries in 1978. The Flintkote Co. and Nevada Cement Co. accounted for the bulk of the output. Most of the stone produced was limestone for use in cement and lime manufacture. For 1978, nearly 90% of the output came from Lyon and Clark Counties. No dimension stone was produced in either 1978 or 1979. METALS Antimony.—No activity was reported from any Nevada antimony mine or processor during 1978-79. Copper.—Copper output decreased dramatically in 1978-79, compared with that of 1977. It fell from 67,000 short tons in 1977 to less than 1,000 short tons in 1979. The Anaconda Co. in Lyon and Elko Counties ceased operations in July 1978, while Kennecott Corp., White Pine County, and Duval Corp., Lander County, drastically cut production. Duval subsequently began mining gold ore from an adjacent area near Battle Mountain. Nearly all of the State's 1979 copper output came from Du
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