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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1977
Year 1977, Volume 1 (1977)

Cammarota, V. Anthony, Jr.; Lucas, John M.
Zinc,   pp. 993-1026 PDF (3.7 MB)


Page 998

 MINERALS YEARBOOK, 1977998 
 During 1977, St. Joe Zinc's production of slab zinc at its Monaca, Pa.,
smelter fell 18% to 134,907 tons. Zinc concentrates from the Balmat and Edwards
mines comprised almost half of the smelter feed, with the balance being obtained
from other domestic and foreign suppliers. St. Joe financed a $21.1 million
pollution control project at the Monaca smelter through the issuance of pollution
control revenue bonds. Approximately $4.6 million of the proceeds from the
bend sale was expended during 1977. St. Joe expects to spend approximately
$15.8 million over the next 3 years to reduce the level of sulfur oxide and
particulate emissions. Construction began on the demonstration citrate unit
at the St. Joe powerplant in Monaca, Pa., that supplies electricity to the
electrothermic smelter. The unit, scheduled for completion in the fall of
1978, is designed to scrub sulfur dioxide from the coalfired powerplant stack
gas. 
 Secondary Zinc Smelters..—.Zinc recovered from zinc-bearing scrap
was 363,739 tons in 1977, a 2% decrease compared with that recovered in 1976.
Zinc-base scrap accounted for 57% of the total compared with 59% in 1976;
zinc recovered from copper-base scrap was 43% compared with 41% in 1976.
Recovery of zinc from both new and old 
scrap declined from that of 1976. Zinc recovered from old scrap accounted
for 25% of the total compared with 26% during 1976. Of the total zinc recovered
from scrap, 25% was recovered as zinc metal, 58% as alloys (mostly brass
and bronze), and 17% as compounds (mostly zinc oxide). Australian Mining
& Smelting Ltd. bought Pacific Smelting Co., one of the largest secondary
zinc plants in the United States. 
 Slag-Fuming Plants.-Slag-fuming plants processed hot and cold lead blast
furnace slags and residues to produce zinc oxide fume. The oxide was either
sold and used as oxide or sent to smelters and refineries for processing
into metallic zinc. Three plants operated in 1977 as in 1976: ASARCO at El.
Paso, Te~., and East Helena, Mont.; and Bunker lull at Kellogg; Idaho. 
 Byproduct Sulfuric Acid.~In 1977, seven plants roasted zinc sulfide concentrates
and produced sulfuric acid, with one plant operating solely to produce calcine
for processing to zinc oxide or slab zinc. In 1977, pro4uction of byproduct
sulfuric acid from zinc plants was 737,781 tons, down from 799,773 tons produced
in 1976. 
 Zinc Dust.—Production of zinc dust increased 39~, over that of
1976
to 47,594 tons in 1977. Zinc dust from distilled scrap accounted for 39,674
tons. 
CONSUMPTION AND USES 
 In 1977, slab zinc consumption, at 1,101,765 tons, decreased 3% from that
of 
1976 in spite of higher automotive output and housing starts. Some of the
loss of zinc consumption for die casting in the transportation industry was
made up through increased use of galvanized steel or steel protected with
a zinc-based coating. The zinc content of the ore used directly in galvanizing
or compounds was 95,339 tozis, down from 101,241 tons in 1976. The zinc content
of secondary materials to make alloys, zinc dust, and compounds was 310,531
tons, up from 301,508 tons in 1976. Total consumption of zinc for all classes
was 1,507,635 tons, a decrease of 2% from that of 
1976. 
 Slab zinc used for galvanizing accounted 
for 436,998 tons (39%); zinc-base alloys, 
404,691 tons (37%); brass products, 141,438 
tons (13%); zinc oxide, 42,454 tons (4%); 
rolled zinc, 30,210 tons (3%); and other, 
45,974 tons (4%). 
 Slab zinc consumption distributed by grade was Special High Grade, 543,047
tons (49%); High Grade, 100,302 tons (9%); In- 
termediat1e, 21,874 tons (2%); Brass Special, 111,483 tons (10%); Prime Western,
323,710 tons~(30%); and Remelt, 1,349 tons (0.1%). Consumption of all grades
of slab zinc except Brass Special decreased from that of 
1976. 
 Slab zinc consumed at rolling mills was 30,210 tons in 1977, an increase
of 1% over that of 1976. Production of rolled zinc products decreased 7%
to 27,932 tons. Strip and foil accounted for 77%. Exports of wrought zitic
increased 18% to 2,681 tons, and imports decreased from 209 tons to 205 tons.
Production of rolled zinc from scrap was 24,268 tons in 1977, yielding a
total of 52,200 tons of rolled zinc during the year, compared with 54,504
tons in 1976. 
 The leading zinc-consuming States in 1977 were Illinois with 165,470 tons
(15%); Ohio, 139,945 tons (13%); Pennsylvania, 131,019 tons (12%); New York,
117,194 tons, (11%); Michigan, 109,401 tons, (10%); and Indiana, 98,930 tons,
(9%). Ohio ranked highest in galvanizing and Michigan was the leader in diecasting.


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