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California Mineral Commodities in 1951

Excerpts from

"Mines and Mineral Resources of San Benito County, California,"
California State Division of Mines, California Journal of Mines and Geology,
pp. Vol. 50, No. 1, January 1954, pp. 3-147.

California Mineral Commodities in 1951, by Henry H. Symons, Assistant Mining Engineer, and Fenelon F. Davis, Associate Mining Geologist. Manuscript submitted for publication October 14, 1953.

Production of Minerals in California During 1951

"Mineral production reached an all-time high in California during 1951, totaling $1,209,428,000. This was an increase of 15 percent over the 1950 production valued at $1,056,047,000, and marked the fourth consecutive year during which mineral production in the state exceeded the billion dollar mark. The previous all-time high was made in 1948 by the California Division of Mines in cooperation with the U. S. Bureau of Mines.

"In 1951 increases in annual production with all-time highs in quantity and value were shown by boron minerals, cement, diatomite, gypsum, iron ore, lime, limestone, pumice and pumicite, salt, sand and gravel, and talc (including soapstone and pyrophyllite).

"Mineral substances showing an all-time high in value of production were: clay, lead, natural-gas, soda, stone, tungsten concentrates, and zinc.

"The quantity of petroleum produced also reached an all-time high in 1951, but the value of this product was considerably below the high mark reached in 1948."

Mineral production in California During 1951 (table in book) (Please note: only the entries on stone products will be included here.)

Cement (incl. clay used for cement) (Short tons) 862,797; (Value) $77,753,697.

Lime (Short tons) 203,344; (Value) $3,366,959.


Granite (dimension stone) (Short tons) 8,719 (Value) $340,231.

Limestone* (includes dolomite) (Short tons) 1,167,434; (Value) $3,614,491.

Miscellaneous (Short tons) 11,361,199; (Value) $10,759,802.

( * Page 60, footnote 1: Revised figures.)


"Production and shipments of cement in California during 1951 exceeded all previous years. For 1951 shipments totaled 28,956,470 barrels (of 376 pounds) valued at $77,753,697 as compared with 26,685,004 barrels worth $65,285,675 in 1950. Production in California's 11 cement mills during 1951 totaled 29,918,293 barrels compared with 26,277,209 in 1950.

"The five cement mills in northern California (one each in Calaveras, San Benito, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties) during 1951 produced 13,556,921 barrels of cement and shipped 12,973,345 barrels worth $35,866,681, as compared with shipments of 11,797,448 barrels worth $28,167,050 in 1950. The six southern California mills (three in San Bernardino County, and one each in Kern, Los Angeles, and Riverside Counties) produced 16,361,372 barrels of cement and shipped 15,983,125 barrels worth $41,887,016, as compared with shipments of 14,887,556 barrels valued at $33,091,625 in 1950.

"The estimated capacity of northern California cement mills as of January 1, 1952 was 13,150,000 barrels, and for southern California mills was 17,720,000 barrels. The estimated capacity for all California mills on January 1, 1950 was 30,870,000."


"The lime manufactured in California during 1951 totaled 203,344 short tons valued at $3,366,959, as compared with 171,440 short tons worth $2,722,835 in 1950. The 1951 lime output came from two properties in El Dorado and two properties in San Bernardino, and one property each in Monterey and Tuolumne Counties.

"During 1951 California agriculture used 7,297 short tons of by-product lime and 2,132 short tons of hydrated lime as soil conditioners."


"The slate mined in California during 1951 came from properties in El Dorado and Mariposa Counties. The production from El Dorado County was used for roofing granules and slate flour. The Mariposa County production was used as flagstone."

Stone (Miscellaneous).

"The granite quarried in California during 1951 for monumental and building stone totaled 38,184 cubic feet (8,719 short tons) worth $340,231 and came from seven properties in San Diego County, and one property each in Fresno, Lassen, Los Angeles, Placer and San Bernardino Counties; compared with 77,650 cubic feet (17,770 short tons) worth $259,447 in 1950 coming from seven properties in San Diego County, and single properties in Fresno, Lassen, Los Angeles, Mariposa, Mono, Placer, and San Bernardino Counties. The granite coming from Fresno, Lassen, Placer, and San Diego Counties was chiefly used as monumental stone.

"The limestone and dolomite quarried in California during 1951 totaled 1,167,434 short tons valued at $3,614,491 as compared with 1,065,439 short tons worth $2,899,767 in 1950. The 1951 output of limestone came from five properties in San Bernardino County, four properties in El Dorado County, two properties each in Santa Cruz and Tuolumne Counties; and single properties in Monterey, Riverside, San Benito, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Ventura Counties.

"Most of the limestone quarried in El Dorado, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Cruz, Tuolumne and Ventura Counties and part quarried from Santa Clara County was high grade limestone and was used in a flux in metallurgical processes; in the manufacturing processes for sugar, soda ash, paints, rubber, glass, chemicals; in agriculture; in chicken grit and poultry feed; as a filler, as granules for roofing and terrazzo; and other special uses. The material from Monterey and San Benito Counties, and part of the production from Tuolumne County was dolomite which was used in refractories, and as a chemical agent in the reduction of magnesia from sea water. The material produced from other counties was used as crushed rock in concrete and as fill rock.

"During 1951 a total of 11,375,342 short tons of crushed stone, rubble, fill rock and flagstone worth $10,782,572 was quarried in California, as compared with 10,681,421 short tons worth $10,839,218 in 1950...."

Mineral Production in the Counties of California.

"Seventy-four percent of the counties of California showed an increase in mineral production during 1951 over that of the previous year. Production was made in 57 of the 58 counties in the state; no production was reported from San Francisco County. About 34 percent of the counties reported an all-time high in value of mineral production. Include din this group of counties were: Alameda, Alpine, Calaveras, Humboldt, Inyo, Los Angeles, Marin, Monterey, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Ventura, and Yolo.

"Los Angeles headed the list of mineral producing counties for the second consecutive year. The six leading counties - Los Angeles, Kern, Fresno, Ventura, Orange, and Santa Barbara - were producers of petroleum products. Each of these counties with the exception of Fresno, reported an increase in valuation of mineral products over the previous year. San Bernardino County ranked seventh and showed the most diversified output with the production of 29 mineral commodities.

"Excluding petroleum products the counties ranked as follows: an Bernardino (cement, salines); Kern (salines, cement); Santa Clara (cement); Inyo (lead and zinc); Riverside (cement, iron ore); Los Angeles (sand-gravel, diatomite); Alameda (sand-gravel, salt); Sacramento (sand-gravel, gold); Santa Barbara (diatomite, sand-gravel); San Mateo (cement, magnesium salts); Calaveras (cement, zinc); Santa Cruz (cement); San Benito (cement, stone, mercury); Nevada (gold and silver); San Diego (and-gravel, dimension stone) and Shasta (zinc, pyrite)."

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