Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Area reports: domestic 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 2 (1978-1979)
White, Doss H., Jr.; Sweeney, John W.
Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Pacific Island possessions, pp. 461-464 PDF (420.0 KB)
Table 2.—Value of nonfuel mineral production in Puerto Rico, by district (Thousands) District 1977 1978 Minerals produced in 1978 Aguadilla Arecibo $981 W w w Stone. Do. Humacao W W Do. Mayaguez Ponce San Juan Undistributed' Total2 2,781 W W 133,324 $2,864 W W 130,057 Stone and salt. Cement, lime, stone, clays. Cement, stone, clays. 137,089 ' 132,922 w withheld to avoid disclosing company proprietary data; included with "Undistributed." ' Includes some stone and sand and gravel (1977) that cannot be assigned to specific districts, and values indicated by symbol W. 2Data may not add to totals shown because of independent rounding. ' Incomplete total, excludes value of sand and gravel. 462 MINERALS YEARBOOK, 1978-79 The upward trend continued through the first quarter of 1979. However, severe rains from mid-April through September severely hampered construction when rainfall exceeded the average annual rate by 51%. The Island was hit by two hurricanes in August, seriously disrupting construction activities. In October, a strike by independent truckers that lasted 5 weeks virtually paralyzed the Island's construction industry The weather conditions and truckers' strike created a $160 million backlog in construction. The development of the Utado-AdjuntasLares porphyry copper deposits of westcentral Puerto Rico continued to be of prime interest to the Commonwealth. Discussions between Government representatives and the Kennecott Copper Corp.AMAX partnership through 1979 did not significantly change the basic technical proposals; however, allocation of revenues among the companies and the Commonwealth was a major point of concern. The deposits collectively contain about 250 million short tons of ore averaging 0.7% copper. The average annual output of refined copper over a 30-year mine life would be over 58,000 tons with significant recovery of byproduct silver, gold, and sulfuric acid. Estimates of development costs prepared by the Commonwealth in September 1977 indicated that the total capital investment for the project would be approximately $500 million. About 2,000 persons would be employed in the first 3-year development stage. Later, 800 to 1,000 persons would be employed annually. The Commonwealth and Universal Oil Products Co. (UOP) continued an evaluation of the Guanajibo nickel laterites near Ma- yaguez. In 1978, bulk samples were sent to UOP's facilities in Tucson, Ariz., for further metallurgical testing. In addition, a small sample was sent to the Federal Bureau of Mines Metallurgy Research Center at Albany, Oreg., for evaJuation using a Bureaudeveloped recovery process. The reserves are estimated at 200 million tons at a grade of 0.9% nickel and 0.09% cobalt. At the end of 1979, no decision had been reached on development. Legislation and Government Programs.—The U.S. Department of Commerce accepted Puerto Rico's Coastal Zone Management Program. It cited the program as a model tailored to meet the Island's problems, and allocated a $1,474,000 grant for program management. In 1978 and 1979, the Puerto Rican Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Geological Survey investigated offshore sand deposits. Bulk samples for four potential offshore sand deposits were sent to the Puerto Rico Highway Authority to determine suitability for making concrete. Investigation continued on the resources and environmental consequences of sand recovery in the Cabo Rojo area. The Puerto Rican Government, through its Department of Natural Resources, collected a royalty for sand and gravel produced from public lands. These royalty assessments are $0.45 per cubic meter for sand and gravel, $0.75 per cubic meter for unprocessed river-run sand, and $0.20 per cubic meter for fill material. A $250 annual extraction permit was required from all operations extracting sand and gravel from either public or private lands. The royalty payment through December 1978 was $129,320.
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