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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)


Page 464

464 
MINERALS YEARBOOK, 1978-79 
primary mineral commodity produced. Two companies, Caribbean Materials Supply
Co. and St. Croix Stone and Sand Co., accounted for the total production.
 Martin Marietta Aluminum Co. continued work on expanding the St. Croix alumina
facility. When completed, plant 
capacity will increase from 550,000 to 700,000 tons per year. The plant uses
bauxite from Guinea to produce alumina, which was imported by aluminum producers
in the United States, Norway, and the Soviet Union. 
PACIFIC ISLAND POSSESSIONS 
American Samoa.—American Samoa 
consists of Tutuila, Swains—and-five smaller islands approximately
3,500 miles west of Australia and 2,200 miles southwest of Hawaii. About
80% of the 31,000 Samoans live on Tutuila, the principal island in the group.
Virtually all of the mineral production, restricted to volcanic cinder and
coral, was from Tutuila Island. 
 Guam.—Located at the southern end of the Mariana chain, 1,500
miles
north of New Guinea, Guam is the largest island in the group. The northern
half of the island is 
an elevated coral and limestone plateau, while the southern half is underlain
by volcanic rock. Guam has an area of 209 square miles and a population of
approximately 100,000. Crushed stone was the major mineral commodity produced
in 1978 and 1979. During this period, Hawaiian Rock Products Co., Perez Bros.,
Inc., Pacific Rock Corp., and the Guam Department of Public Works produced
crushed limestone from six quarries. This material was utilized domestically
by the construction industry. 
TRUST TERRITORY OF THE PACIFIC ISLANDS 
 This Territory comprises about 2,000 islands with a land area of 1,335 square
miles. The islands, commonly called Micronesia, were transferred to United
States stewardship by the United Nations in 1947 under an agreement that
will expire in 1981. In 1975, the Northern Mariana Islands voted to leave
the Trust Territory and become a United States commonwealth. This status,
achieved in January 1978, grants increased self-government, but retains protection
by the United States. The 14 islands comprising the Northern Marianas have
a land area of 182 square miles and a population estimated at over 16,000,
with the majority 
concentrated on Saipan Island. 
 The Japanese controlled the Territory from 1919 until 1945 and were active
in mineral exploration and the mining of bauxite, manganese, and phosphate.
In recent years, mineral production has been restricted to construction materials
such as volcanic rock, limestone, sand, and coral. Aggregate shipments are
common between islands, because some of them are deficient in aggregate material.
 1State mineral specialist, Bureau of Mines, Pittsburgh, Pa. 
 2Supervisory mining engineer, Bureau of Mines, Tuscaloosa, Ala. 


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