Mineral Facts and Problems: 1960 Edition Page: 82
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MINERAL FACTS AND PROBLEMS, ANNIVERSARY EDITION
Asbestos kinds and grades of greatest strate-
gic importance are being stockpiled. The three
stockpile items are Rhodesian low-iron chryso-
tile Grades C & G No. 1 and No. 2, or equiva-
lent grades, amosite, and Bolivian blue. Cana-
dian chrysotile of spinning grade is regarded
as essential for many direct and indirect mili-
tary uses, but it is not being stockpiled at this
time. The national stockpile objectives of
Bolivian crocidolite is filled, and purchases are
no longer beng made. The amosite and low-
iron chrysotile objectives are still unfilled.
During World War II controls were in effect
to restrict exports of asbestos needed in the
military program. These controls were re-
moved by executive order on September 10,
1945. During the Korean conflict the asbestos
situation again became acute, and in 1950 and
1951 controls were again invoked, licenses being
required for export of all grades of asbestos.
The license requirement for the nonspinning
grades was removed in 1953, and for the spin-
ning fibers in 1954, except that export licenses
are still required for shipments to Gommunist-
Allocation of asbestos supplies, which was
put into effect during World War II has not
been deemed necessary since Korea, but the
National Production Authority (NPA) issued
an order (M-96 dated January 17, 1952')
which restricted the use of spinning grades of
chrysotile asbestos so that the limited supply
should be used first to satisfy military and
essential civilian uses. It prohibited the use
of certain grades of spinning fiber for other
than certain specified end uses. As supplies
of spinning-grade chrysotile had become ade-
quate for all commercial and military needs
early in 1953, M-96 was revoked by the NPA
May 12, 1953.
An urgent need is the discovery and develop-
ment of new asbestos deposits. To assist in
such discoveries the Defense Minerals Explora-
tion Administration and the Office of Minerals
Exploration had, up tso October 1959, approved
19 asbestos exploration contracts. Only five
of them led to certification of discovery, and
none of them to discoveries of any significance
in the overall supply situation.
There has been a strong upward trend in
Quebec asbestos prices during recent years.
They were advanced substantially in early 1951,
and again advanced 10 to 15 percent in Janu-
ary 1952. Prices remained virtually unchanged
at the 1952 level until January 1956 when they
were increased 5 to 10 percent. Prices were
advanced 5 percent on October 1, 1957. Ver-
mont prices are about the same as those of the
Quebec fibers. British Columbia spinning
fibers are quoted at about the same level, f.o.b.
Vancouver, as the same grades of Quebec asbes-
tos f.o.b. mines. Arizona fibers are quoted at
somewhat higher levels. Current prices range
from $40 a ton for the shortest fibers to $1,850
a ton for the largest crude fibers (1).
Unmanufactured asbestos enters the United
States duty free.
Fortunately, the Quebec and Vermont de-
posits are within easy rail haul of the principal
consumption centers. The African deposits are
remote from the principal markets and have
high transportation expenses. Transportation
from British Columbia is difficult and costly,
but a shorter route is in prospect. The Arizona
miners have difficult transportation problems.
The mines are in the vicinity of Globe, the
nearest railhead, at distances ranging from a
few miles to 104 miles, with an average haul to
the railroad of about 50 miles. The major con-
sumption centers are in the northeastern sec-
tion of the United States, relatively close to
Quebec, Canada, in comparison with Arizona.
Consumption of asbestos is growing along the
west coast of the United States.
In the area of production, research has been
conducted by companies operating mines in
Canada. Considerable research has been con-
ducted on utilization of the more plentiful
shorter grades in applications where longer
grades are preferred. For instance, it has been
found that more complete fiberization, permit-
ting better contact of cement and fiber, will
allow groups 5 and 6 to be blended in increasing
proportions with group 4 in making asbestos-
Two companies have developed processes for
deironing Quebec asbestos to make it suitable
for electrical uses. The Johns-Manville Corp.
manufactures Quinterra paper from such fi-
bers. Raybestos-Manhattan, Inc., has devel-
oped a process for making a low-iron product
known as Novabestos. Both Quinterra and
Novabestos papers may be interlaminated with
a fiberglass fabric or grid to give additional
strength. These products are now manufac-
tured commercially and are used extensively in
cable construction and for other nonferrous
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United States. Bureau of Mines. Mineral Facts and Problems: 1960 Edition, report, 1960; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc38790/m1/90/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.