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Consul General D. I. Murphy, Stockholm, reported January 18, 1923, that investigation of the recently discovered ore deposits of the Province of Vasterbotten, Sweden, disclosed three forms of "sulphur pyrite ores," as well as a “combined zinc and sulphur ore." He quotes the Svenska Dagbladt in reference to these discoveries as follows:

As the demand for such ores is great, the new fields will be of much interest to the sulphite cellulose industry in Norrland, which, owing to these finds, can fill its requirements without having to obtain sulphur from Norway and the United States. (Official American records show exports from the United States to Sweden of 41,325 long tons of sulphur in 1922.) It will doubtless be possible to obtain from 100,000 to 150,000 tons of sulphur from these mines—an amount about equal to that now imported. The richest ores have been found in the neighborhood of Bjurfors, but the fields extend from Skelleftea to Stensele.

Of the refined and sublimed sulphur and flowers of sulphur only negligible quantities went to Europe. North American countries, chiefly Canada and Mexico, received 3,084,396 pounds out of a total quantity exported of 4,367,090 pounds. The average value of the sulphur exported in 1923 was $15.04 a long ton, compared with $14.61 in 1922.



There was no improvement in the market for domestic pyrites in 1923, practically the same conditions that have dominated the market for several years being prevalent. Only those companies whose properties are well situated and had been developed and which had been producing for years were able to produce in 1923. Pyrites produced in the United States apparently can not compete under normal conditions with domestic sulphur and Spanish pyrite. There was a slight increase in production, from 169,043 long tons in 1922 to 181,628 long tons in 1923, but the value decreased from $671,241 to $661,000. Of the quantity produced 170,997 long tons was either sold or consumed by the producing companies. Pyrites was produced in five States in 1923–California, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The combined production of California and Virginia was 170,300 long tons; New York produced 11,000 tons, Ohio 138 tons, and Wisconsin 190 tons. The mine of the Connecting Link Mining Co., in Wisconsin, was operated only five months in 1923, as the mill was destroyed by fire the first of June.

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The total sulphur content of lump and fines produced in 1923 was equivalent to 74,965 long tons, which would indicate an average content of 41 per cent.

* Commerce Repts., Feb. 26, 1923, p. 556.


The imports of pyrites decreased from 279,445 long tons in 1922 to 263,695 long tons in 1923. The imports for 1923 were, with the exception of those for 1921, the smallest since 1898. The record for imports was made in 1916, when 1,244,662 long tons was imported.

Sulphur ore as pyrites, containing more than 25 per cent of sulphur, imported for

consumption, 1917-1923

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Sulphur ore as pyrites, containing more than 25 per cent of sulphur, imported for

consumption in 1923, by countries and districts of entry

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By J. M. Hill and G. F. LOUGHLIN


For many years magnesite, the normal carbonate of magnesium, and dolomite, or high-magnesium limestone, were the only commercial sources of magnesian products in the United States, and their uses were sufficiently distinct for magnesite to be treated in a separate chapter of Mineral Resources and for dolomite to be included with limestone in the chapter on stone. Domestic magnesite, though a potential source of several products that were marketed chiefly east of Mississippi River, could not compete with foreign magnesite. During the World War, however, domestic magnesite and dolomite were both exploited to relieve the shortage caused by the curtailment of imports. Imports of magnesium chloride and sulphate and of metallic magnesium were also restricted, and this condition has led to the exploitation of domestic deposits and processes of manufacture. For these reasons it has been suggested that the annual review of magnesium and its natural and manufactured compounds be given in one chapter. The natural compounds include magnesite, dolomite, magnesium chloride, and magnesium sulphate. The manufactured

. compounds include the basic (or "technical”) carbonate, calcined and dead-burned magnesite, dead-burned dolomite, and precipitated carbonate and sulphate derived from magnesite or dolomite, or from the crude sulphate.

Only the quantity of dolomite produced for its magnesium content is included here. Much larger quantities, either burned into lime or used as dimension, crushed, or pulverized stone, are included in the corresponding chapters on lime and stone.

The uses to which magnesite has been or may be put, for most of which dolomite is also used, are as follows: 2

In the manufacture of carbon dioxide and the sulphite process of paper manufacturing, in both of which magnesite has been displaced by cheaper dolomite or limestone; for refractory brick, shapes, crucibles, and furnace hearths, for which both dead-burned magnesite and dead-burned dolomite are used; for medicinal and toilet preparations, which are made from magnesite, dolomite, and natural magnesium sulphate; for pipe covering (mixed with asbestos), which in this country is probably all made from dolomite; for oxychloride

1 Figures of imports and exports compiled from the records of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce by J. A. Dorsey, of the U.S. Geological Survey.

: These uses are reviewed'in detail in U. S. Geol. Survey Bull, 355, 1908, and brief comments on mag. nesium chloride, sulphate, basic carbonate, metallic magnesium, and their uses are made in the chapter on magnesite in Mineral Resources of the United States for 1914, pp. 573-577.

(Sorel) cement, which is made from a mixture of calcined magnesite
and magnesium chloride; as an absorbent in the manufacture of
dynamite, a preventive of boiler scale where sulphurous waters are
used, an accelerator in the vulcanization of rubber, fused magnesia
for insulation at exceedingly high temperatures, and an adulterant
of paint, all of which presumably call for calcined magnesite but are
relatively unimportant in the consumption of domestic magnesite;
and for metallic magnesium, which is made both from calcined mag-
nesite and from magnesium chloride.

The section on magnesite has been prepared by Mr. Hill, and the
other sections by Mr. Loughlin.



In 1923 mines in the United States sold calcined magnesite equiva-
lent to 147,250 short tons of crude magnesite, valued at $1,103,700,
an increase of 164 per cent in quantity but of only 93 per cent in
value, as compared with the output in 1922. The increase in value
reported for 1923 is relatively small because it is determined by
prices f. o. b. shipping points, and the operators in the State of
Washington place a very low price on crude magnesite. The produc-

tion in 1923 was about equal in California and Washington. Most
of the product in California was sold as caustic calcined magnesite,
and most of that in Washington was sold dead-burned.

Seven producers in California in 1923 operated at 11 localities in
6 counties. In Washington 3 companies produced crude magnesite
from deposits near Valley and Chewelah, in Stevens County.

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Crude magnesite sold or treated in the United States, 1918–1923

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Of the domestic magnesite and its products sold in 1923 only 6,020 tons (9 per cent) was sold crude, for use largely in making chemicals; 28,470 tons (41 per cent) was sold as caustic calcined magnesite, for use as plastic material; and 34,410 tons (50 per cent) was sold dead-burned, for use as a refractory. These figures show that the material actually sold in 1923 amounted to 68,900 tons, which computed as crude magnesite would amount to 147,250 tons, for it takes 2 to 21 tons of crude magnesite to make 1 ton of caustic calcined or dead-burned magnesite.

At the end of the year producers reported that 14,520 tons of crude magnesite was in stock on dumps, exclusive of large quantities of fines held at several dumps to be calcined eventually.


Magnesite, not purified, imported into the United States, 1921-1923, by countries,

in short tons

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Magnesite imported for consumption in the United States, 1919–1923

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So far as known, Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands produce no magnesite, the material shipped from those countries being mined in Austria and Czechoslovakia. A large part of the magnesite imported from Italy probably also comes from Czechoslovakia. With the resumption of activity in the steel industry the imports of magnesite have increased, because a large part of the imported material is dead-burned and is consumed at steel-making plants near the eastern seaboard. There was a great decrease in the imports from Germany. Most of the magnesite imported from India is the caustic calcined product in lumps, but the caustic calcined magnesite received from Greece is ground.

The calcined magnesite imported for domestic consumption in 1923 was valued at $14.02 a short ton, but the price was evidently fixed at the points of shipment in the producing country, for the fact was brought out in the hearing before the Tariff Commission on December 5, 1923, that the cost of magnesite imported from India in the form of calcined lump delivered at New York is $37.89.

Of the calcined magnesite imported in 1923 11,229 short tons was imported as caustic calcined, which was valued at $315,585 ($28.10 a ton), and 61,726 tons as dead-burned, valued at $707,383 ($11.46 a ton). The value is evidently fixed at the port of export.

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