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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)

Sullivan, Daniel E.; Baker, Jeannette L.; Theofilos, Nicholas G.
Review of the mineral industries,   pp. 1-59 ff. PDF (6.2 MB)

Page 2

 562 563 564 565 566 
2 MINERALS YEARBOOK, 1972 Figure 1.—Indexes of physical volume of mineral
production in the United States, by group. 
was designed to be a transition between the freeze of Phase I and less stringent
controls. Legislation approved by Congress during 1972 covered many subjects
of concern to the minerals industries. These included the environment, water,
public land, black-lung disease benefits, consumer safety, the price of gold,
and the strategic stockpile. 
 Bureau of Mines research programs continued to be directed toward developing
more effective, efficient and less costly extraction, processing, and utilization
techniques; improving mine safety; increasing the recovery of secondary resources;
and eliminating pollution problems. 
 The demand for energy continued to be strong, especially for clean-burning
fuels. Domestic fuels production expanded at a slower rate than consumption,
more fuels were imported, and there were some fuel shortages. Underground
mining of coal declined for the third consecutive year primarily because
of health and safety regulations. Surface mining increased, and, for 
the first time in the history of the industry, output from strip mines exceeded
that of deep mines. In petroleum, major concerns were import quotas and the
construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline. The pipeline would bring Alaskan
oil to the contiguous 48 States, but unsettled environmental decisions have
delayed its construction. 
 The metals industry reflected the economy as a whole in 1972. Prices increased
as did the demand for metals. There were no major strikes, but concern over
environmental problems was widely felt. Output in the nonmetallic mineral
industries was high during 1972, despite the fact that environmental problems
were significant throughout the industry. 
 The long-run growth in world trade was maintained in 1972 in spite of turmoil
in the international monetary system. The outlook for future modifications
in the system appeared good. U.S. balance of payments improved in 1972, although
a large deficit still remained. 
 Production.—In 1972, domestic production of primary minerals and mineral
fuels was valued at $32.2 billion. In 1967 constant dollars, the value of
mineral production was $27.0 billion. The value of metals and nonmetals each
increased about 7% and mineral fuels advanced 4% over 1971. 
 The Bureau of Mines total index of physical volume of mineral production
2 IC 
!? DC 
' C 
(1967 = 100) increased 2.5% to 112.6 points in 1972. The average for metals
increased 4.3% to 127.5 points. Within this group ferrous metals increased
1.5% and nonferrous metals increased 5.7%. In the nonferrous index, base
metals increased 7.8%, monetary metals declined 5.4%, and other nonferrous
2.7%. The average for nonmetals increased 5.8%. Construction, chemical, and
other nonmetals increased at rates 

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