(Raw Materials)

The Boulder batholith, mother of the Butte ores, is not completely explored. Copper, zinc ... Montana is blessed with a great w d t h of raw ~~~terial...
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Norember 1953


J. X.. Brown, D. M.. F’ulver, B. F.,and Taylor. D. A., u.8. Geol. SUNEY. circ. 5s (1948)., (5).Davis. C. W.,and Vscher. H. C., U. E. Bur.‘Mines, Tsdi: P o w 438 (leas). (6) Dousean, C. W.. Mont. Bur. Mines, and Oeolom. Misc. C & . 9 (1947). (7) Eokel, E. C., U. 5.Geol. Survey, B d . 52% 253-6 (1813). (8) Gibson. Russell. U. 8. Geol. Survey. BuU. 956 (1918). (9) Heinrich, E. W., Mont. Bur. Mines and Geology. Mem. 28 (1949). (io) rbid.. MWW.30 (1950). (11) Heinrioh. E. W.,Mont. Bur. Mhea and Wow. M k .C d . 10 (1948). (12) Howland, A. L.,Gem&. E. M., and Jones,W. R.. U. 8. Geol. Survey. Bull. 948s (1945). (13) Howland, A. L.,Peoplea, J. W., and SamPCn, Edward. Mont. Bur. Minea and Geology. d l k . C d . 7 (1836). (14) Kemp, P. D.,and Dickermsn. M. B., U. E. Dept. Am.,Forest Service, Northern Rooky Mountsin Forest snd Range Experiment Station,Btotion P a w 25 (1960). (15) Kirby, J. G.,0.8. Bur. Minee.. Inform. Cim. 7613 (1861). (16) McGLMhsn, D. W..and byn. P; F.. Mont. Bur. Mines and Geology, Mise. C d .12 (1952). (17) M W m Mining Aasociatirm. News U t e . (18) Wen.J. T.. U. 8. Geol. Ehwey, Bull. 64OK (1917). (19)Ibid., 8476 (1936). (20) Pard-, J. T., snd Lsraen, E. S., [email protected] (1941). (21) Perry. E.E., Monk Bur. Minea F d Geolopv, Mem. 3 (19371. @a) bid.. n (i918Y. (2.3) [email protected],29 (1949). (24) Perry. E.S.,”Oil andGaiinMontsns,”unpublidmanuaoriyt, 1952. (26) Rms,C. P.. U. 8. Geol. Swwy. BuU. 955c (1950). (26) &.lea. R. H., Am. Inst. M i % kMd. Enme.. &,&lo9 (1914). (27) 8chsfer; P. A,. Mont. Bur. Mine8 and Geology, M m . 18 (1937). (ZS) U. 8. Bur. Minea. Minerd Markets Reporta. (20) Vine, J. D., and Erdrnann, C. E., U. 8. &?I. Survey, Circ. 172 (1962). (30) Winohester, D. E.,U. 8. Oeol. Survey, Bull. 729,78-91 (1923).

central part of the state should yield very important quantities of oil, a development pattern similar to other important &prcdu+ ing states may be anticipated, because Montana haa the aources to support an important industdd development. Thus, petroleum may be the trigger for an industrial expansion a t a rate much greater than otherwise might be anticipated. In any event, the mineral rmurcee of the state available to industry are in large supply. In addition to petroleum and natural gas, there are tremendous m w e s of coal, prinoipdly mbbituminous. Water power, oil shales, and possibly fissionable ~ ~ t e r iadd a l ~significantly to the energy potential. The metals have a h d y played a significant role in the development of the state. The greatest nonfemus metal mining diatrict in the United States at Butte is undergoing an expsnsion in production facilities. The camp is not fully developed a b e the 4000foot level, and valuable ores peraiat well below 4wo feet. The Boulder batholith, mother of the Butte ores, is not completely explored. Copper, zinc, lead, manganese, and d v e r are the most important mineral resolllces derived from this area. Tungsten and chromium are present in lsrge quantities in a grade which now appears to be at the margin of economical recovery. The nonmetallic minerals have only been touched. The supply of constructional materials is virtually unlimitd. Vermiculite, lime, cement, gypsum, and talc have been developed, but in all caes the paaibilities are great for utilization ultimately. In many other fields, mour- are available for an expanding industriali~ation or to supply strategic minerals in a national emergency. Among the important pasaibilities are fluorspur, bentonite, barite, amphibole aebestos graphite, and clays. Montana is blessed with a great w d t h of raw ~ ~ ~ t e r i arels sources, including very important energy-producing re80uroe~.




R.. Bull. Am. Asaoe. Pdroleum Gwl.. 37, 84+4 (1963). (2) Binyon, E. O., U. S. Bur. Minei. Repl. Impst. 4880 (1952). (3) Clsbuph. 8. E., and Armatrong. F. C.. U. 8. Geol. SIUVW. Bull. 888b (1950).


(1) Barnes. T.

Rmouvmo for =view May 1, 1858


Accsrrm A u w t 12. 1853.

(Raw Materials)







HE first recorded interest in the availability of raw materials from New Mexico dates from the time of Francisco Vasques de Coronado. During 1540 thia bold explorer searched in vain for the famed “Seven Cities of Cibola,” supposed to be filled with gold, silver, and precious jewels. Coronado failed in hia attempt to find the fabulous citiea, but those who followed him found a “land of enchantment,“ rich in valuable raw materials, posseeaing an ideal climate, and endowed with an abundance of energy in the forms of petroleum, natural gas, coal, and sunshine. No single region possessea all the factors desirable for the establishment of industry and, in common with most of the West, distances in New Mexico from natural resource to plant and consumer are usuallv . lsree. - However. a larne number of extractive industries have been developed in the state! production for th I



N. M.

fiscal year ending June 30, 1952, amounting to $264,617,001. This was divided as follows: petroleum and natural gaa $169,826,420, metalliw $55,368,656, and nonmetallics 89,421,926 (14). Good highways have now opened up many hitherto isolated area rich in resources. The state ia developing rapidly and hae practically doubled ita population since 1920, the 1950 census giving B figure of 677,152. With the entire expanding W&t 8 8 B potential market, further utilization of abundant raw materials offers a real challenge and opportunity to those of pioneering spirit who are willing to carry out adequate exploratory work and possess the required ingenuity and engineering know how. Figure 1 ehowa the principal citiea and railroad linea. It is riven to assist in visuslieinn the locations of the resoureen dis-









Vol. Is, No. 11

bmrd feet were cut out by 120 mills. At present moat of the sawdust and other waste materials are used as fuel or burned am trash. Nearly all the mills are small, making naate utilixation h d t . However, Bome utilixationof foreat waate as chemical raw materials should develop am the steady population incream of the West opens up the necessary co&g marketa. Pambilitiea include the production of kraft pulp, wood molaaees, and M V d


MINERALPetroleum m d R a b d D u Petroleum, natural gas, and natural gas liquida are among the most important raw matmiah available to the chemiaal industry in New Mexico. The oil and gas induatriw are ale0 among the moat important factors in the emnomy of the state. New Mexica ranka sinth in crude oil production and seventh in natural gas production in the United States. The average production of crude oil for the first half of 1962 was 160,400 b u d s M y (8). Production has doubled during the past 10 yearn. EstLnated proved remrves have increased fivefold in the past 10 yearn and BJB nearly equal to the cumulative production from 1924 to 1961. The value of the crude oil, dry gas, and natural gas liquida prOauced in 1861 amounted to approximately $189,830,000.

Figun 1. I&


Map of Now Mexico


WhileagricdtureinNew Mexiwiaconiinedtodryfarmingand to arean where irrigation is available, it is one of the major indub tries of the state. Farm producta produced in 1960 sold for $74,327,143 (U). The 1951 production figures listed in Table I(M) include agricultural cmps and producta p r o d from thprm which are available as chemical raw materials.

Tebla I. Production in 1861

The availabdity of.deaert plsnta is of real intereat. Growth of plants in arid regions is, of c o w , slow; hence all deaert plant projecta must be planned d u l l y in order to ennure a sustained yield (7). However, utilisation of planta which yield specid subatsnw of value+ for which demand is limited, merita spedal conaideration. For example, the meosote huh, which gmm in p a t profusion in the southern half of the Rio Grande valley in New Mexico,is a commercialsourceof eordihydmguaisraticacid, a valuable antioxidant for fate and oils (3). This bush has an aoid content of 9 to 12%, and there is no important lose of acid after harvesting. The bush ia also a potantkl ~ourceof varnish & and stock feed.

FOREBT PRODUCT8 The total forested ares of New Mexico amounta to 20,cOl,000 s c r e s , o f w h i c h 6 , 1 0 1 , 0 0 0 a ~ a r e w n m d e r e d s a ( ~ ) .The forests are generally found at elevations of 7000 to 11,600 feet, where the average annual&all is approximately 19 inchen. The saw timber lvea contsina about 130 qeeiea of treea: 82% Ponderosa pine, 10% Douglas &,3% whita fir, and 3% Engelman spruce. Other pines and firs make up the remaining 2%. Of the saw timber area 3,466,000 auaa are d&ed B L ~wmm d l and contain an eatimsted m e of nearly 8.6 billion board feet. The remaining ares is inaccessible or the t i m k L too scattered for profitable logjng. In 1948 some 124,608,000



P*trohum- and Natural OuRoducing k

The chief producing regions, shown in F i i 2 (I, $4), are the New Mexico portion of the Permisn hasin in the southeastsrn part of the atata and the BanJusn basin in the northweatern parb. The 8an Juan basin is a rapidly developing region which has become an important producer only during the past few years. At preeent this field contributes approximately7% of the oil and 30% of the gaa produced in the atata. Table I1 (IS)summarizes the recent and cumulative production, together with estimated pmvedmaemes. There an, eight reline- and thirteen extraction planta in the state, located as shown in Figure 3 (16, le). Three refineries are topping plante and five are both topping and meking. The IS fineries have a crude oil operating capacity of 20,060 barrels psr day. The five cracking plants have a total aapacity of 6000 barrela of cracked gasoline per day. The productm of the planta are gamline, kemaine, gns oil, fuel oil, and asphalt. The thirteen


Novembm 1953


shu9d.an at the close of the war, but is now being regctivsted. At present there is mueasing demand for helium to provide inert atmaepheres for welding.




The Bneyena field in Harding County, southweat of Clayton in the n e t e m part of the state (~igure a), is the center of a small but expanding carbon dioxide industry. In 1951 136,470,000cubic feet of carbon dioxide gas were extracted and cumulative pmduction amounted to 589,553,ooO cubic feet from 1946 to 1961(18). Production is nomewhat aaasonal, inasmuch as nearly all the gas is aold as dry ice for use in refripation, and is more than donbled from June through October. The production of carbon dioxide could he expanded if additional marketa were available. Some carbon dioxide is also found neer &tancia, Torrance County (Figure 2). The continned steady g r u d of the petroleum indusw in New Mexico, togethex with a rapidly growing population, should provide a stimulus for the establishment of a number of petr0chemical industries in the near future. Intereating possibilities are the production of elemental sulfur from the soul gss of both the Permian and 8an Juan btxin.8, production of hydrogen for ammonia ayntheaie, and the chlorination of hydrocarbons. Phce the preparation of this manuscript, two sulfur plants have been placea in operation; one in the 8an Juan baain is producing 30 tons of sulfur daily, and one in the Permian bssin 12.5 tona. A third plant, under oonstrudon in the Permian baain, is mheduled to pmduce 100 tons a day.]

m o u ~ ~


3. N a t d OM Pipdin-. P ~ t r o h r n Rgru.*...ndoUbnBIackPhn~

extraction plants produced 3,881,178b m l a of gasoline, 1,410,840 of butane, and 758,273 of propane in 1951 (8). An theee SgUres show, moSt Of the CNde Oil produced is not fmed in the state. A large percantage is expmted by pipelines to refineries in Texas and nome of the re6ned pmducts are returned to New Mexiw for d e . Most of the natural gas is Efewk exported, chieEy to California. The recently completed line from the 8an Juan basin now supplements the line from the PenniSn basin. The location of the gas pipelines within the stat% shown in Figure 3,indicate t h availability ~ of natural gss. An extension of the gas network could easily provide all populated nraw of the state with ample natursl gas. The five carbon black plants opera% in New M&w are all located in the HobbsEunice area in the southeastem part of the state as shown in Figure 3. During 1951 (8)56,2M,EOl,CWlcubic feet of gas were used to produca 112,W6,862 pound8 of carbon black. About half of the pmdnct is exported, chidy to Great Britain, and mast of the remaioder to the domaatic Nbber industry. Natural gas from the Rattlemake field, north of Shiprock (Figure 2), contains 6 to 7% of helium. Re8emea are estimated at 12 billion cubic feet of ga% from which 788,CWl,oOOcubic feet of helium can be extraotad. Cumulative production from 1942 hsa amounted to 2,243,414cubic feat (18). Production is, of course, controlled by the Federal Government. An extraction plant, built by the Government at Ship& during World War 11, was


TabIe 11:

Produotion .ndProved R u M m hodootion. 1951

W. bbl.


Figun 4. -tion of Minabla Rweww of Bituminous and SubMtuminoua C o d


7a4.819,~~~ (igz4-m

Cod. Although conutituting "the [email protected] wmued nolvw of enetgy in New Mexico" (17), the 4 deposits of the s t a b have been exploited to a decreasing extant in the paat two decades. Production for the 6acal year ending June 30, 1952,WBB 844,095 tons of 4of all graden (14). Total estimatedreaewes remaining in January 1948 were 61,515,761,538tons (17), of which approximatsly 50% may he considered recoverable under prment atandards of mining. This total includes coals of subbituminous, bituminous, and anthraciteranka to depths of 3OOO feet. figure 4


Vol. 45, No. 11


(17) shows the distribution of d-bearing areas by rank, with the exception of anthracite, which ocaurn only in minor quantitim

in the cerillos field. Bituminous coals in several fields are of excellent coking quality, the most d v e known depoeits of which occur in the Raton field in the northeastern portion of the state.



Nonmetallic minerals and mckn include the minerds and rockforming mineral -gaten valuable chiefly for their contained nonmetallic elements or compounds, as well as donstructiOn materiala, which, although not primarily of interest as chemical raw materials, may be important in the construction of the plant, 01m v e as Dhvaica~media in some Droce88ed un8d bv the rheminsl

SJine Compounds. N a t d salts of potaasiUm, sodium, and as magnesium occur in c o m m d l quautitiw in sewal -, ahOWn in &We 5. Th8 potaSh-beSring heda of the Carlebad basin are of particular interest ( I B ) , inasmuch as they supply 90 to 95% of the annual d o d o potash production. Production from the four plants in operation in the fiscal year ending June 30, 1962, totaled 7,017,814 tone (14), averaging about 21% KIO. Fhductiou from the five plants now operating in expected to approximate 1,660,000 tous KsO equivalent for the calendar year 1953 (6). A t current rates of mining, a productive life of at leaat 65 years in predicted for the known published moverable rn -6 of nearly 100,000,000 tons of KIO(6). Active exploration, in thin and outlying portions of the Carlsbad negment of the Permian salt basin, in rapidly expanding the known reserves. Recent press releases forecast the establishment of two more mines and reheries in a newly developed area in Lea County. The principal potash salts, sylvite (KCI) and langbeinite (rr$o,.aMg80+), are associated with halite (NaCI) in beds that lie 800 to 15M) feet below the surface in the producing area. Mining in by highly mechanized conventional underground methods that permit high productive capacitjea. The crude and refined products, designed largely for agricultural usage, include potassium chloride ranging from 50 to 63% G O (80 to !%.CIS% KCI), manure salts of about 25% K,O grade, potassium sulfate averaging 90to 95% W O ,and a langbeinite concentrate with a minimum sna?veiS Of 96% s;sO, 2MgS0, (6,e). Waste brines containing magnesium chloride from one refinery will be proceased for the production of hydrochloric acid and magnwia in a plant now under construction. Owing to limited local market demandn, a relatively small production of common salt (NaCI) originates in New Mexico, despite the availability of tremendoun r e m e s of rock salt in the Permian salt basin (Figure 5). During the fiscal year 1952, 7551 tons of salt were marketed (14), the bulk of which was obtained as salvage from wastes of the potsah refineries in the CarleM district. Salt m t e formed by solar evaporation of shallow lake brines in northwestern Cstmn County, and near Willard in Torrance County, have been nources of sporadic minor production since prehistoric times. Most of the salt produced in the state in used as a livestock fwd supplement. Sodium and magnesium sulfatea in the brines and natural pre-