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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook 1990
Year 1990, Volume 2 (1990)

White, Doss H., Jr.; Johnston, John; Marsalis, W. E.
Louisiana,   pp. [224]-233 PDF (1.4 MB)


Page 225

.OUISIANA—1990  225THE MINERAL INDUSTRY OF LOUISIANA 
This chapter has been prepared under a Memorandum of Understanding between
the U.S. Bureau of Mines, U.S. Department of the Interior, and the Louisiana
Geological Survey for collecting information on all nonfuel minerals, 
By Doss H. White, Jr. ,~ John Johnston,2 and W. E. Marsalis3 
 Louisiana's 1990 nonfuel mineral production was valued at $367.9 million.
This was an $ 1 1 . 8 million decline below that reported to the U.S. Bureau
of Mines by the State's mineral producers in 1989 and $215.9 million below
the $583.8 million record for nonfuel mineral output established in 1980.
 The decrease in the 1990 mineral value below that reported in 1989 was due
to a decline in sales of clays, gypsum, stone, and sulfur. Nationally, Louisiana
dropped one position to 29th in nonfuel mineral value. The State, accounting
for 1. 1 % of the $33.3 billion of mineral commodities produced in the United
States in 1990, led the Nation in salt output and ranked second in sulfur
production. 
TRENDS AND 
DEVELOPMENTS 
 Louisiana has a sparsity of hard-rock resources because of the State's geological
setting in the Gulf Coastal Plain ; surface and near-surface strata are predominantly
clays, gravels, and sands. For many decades, oyster shells dredged from State
lakes and coastal waters have been used as a substitute for crushed stone
in the construction of road foundations. During the past several years, dredges
operating on Lake Pontchartrain have supplied the bulk of the shell used
in Louisiana highway construction. Shell dredging leases were issued by the
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. 
 In 1983, an environmental group sued the Wildlife and Fisheries Department
and asked that the court declare dredging 
TABLE I 
leases illegal. Four years later, in 1987, the trial court issued a judgment
stating that the leases were illegal because public bidding was not involved.
In 1988, the 4th Circuit Court affirmed the decision. 
 Later in 1988, the Louisiana Legislature passed and the Governor signed
Act 41 of 1988, which authorized shell dredging without lawful leases until
new leases were issued after public bidding. In September 1988, a preliminary
injunction against dredging was issued by the original trial court. The injunction
stated that dredging rights must be issued according to Louisiana law. On
the same day the injunction was issued, the Wildlife and Fisheries and industry
signed new shell dredging leases that the industry contended complied with
the State bid law. 
 In January 1990, the 4th Circuit Court issued a ruling that terminated dredging
NONFUEL MINERAL PRODUCTION IN LOUISIANA' 
Mineral 
1988 
1989 
1990 
. 
Quantity 
Value 
(thousands) 
. 
Quantity 
Value 
(thousands) 
. 
Quantity 
Value 
(thousands) 
Clays metric tons 
340,900 NA 
14,274 
14,233 
318 
.23,700 
1,719 
XX 
XX 
$9,535 
3 
108,982 
52,820 
4,786 
.229,200 
W 
229,210 
434,536 
233,992 NA 
13,218 
' 13,600 572 
3,206 
1,334 
XX 
XX 
$6,115 
14 
115,203 
' 54,400 9,664 
24,414 
W 
169,912 
379,722 
368,322 NA 
14,348 
14,589 
559 
' 2,100 1,337 
XX 
XX 
$1,066 
7 
120,827 
55,902 
10,003 
' 16,800 
W 
163,313 
367,918 
Gemstones 
Salt thousandshorttons 
Sand and gravel: 
Construction do. 
Industrial do. 
Stone (crushed) do. 
Sulfur (Frasch) thousand metric tons 
Combined value of cement (masonry, [1988], portland, [1988]), gypsum (crude),
lime, stone (crushed miscellaneous, 1988), and values indicated by symbol
W 
Total 
eEstimatcd. NA Not available. W Withi~ld to avoid disclosing company proprietary
data; valus included with ' Combired vain" figure. XX Not applicable.
' Production
as treasured by onion shipn~nts, sales, or marketable production (including
consumption by producers). 
2ttxcbales certain stoons; kind and value included with ' Combinod valueS
fig~. 


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