Utah has plenty of ‘bling’ from mining – by Amy Joi O’Donoghue (Desert News – December 25, 2018)


Aside from beryllium, Utah is the nation’s sole source of magnesium and is
home to U.S. Magnesium, the country’s only facility producing magnesium
metal from a primary source.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s mining industry put the state among the top 10 in the country for production in 2017, generating $3.3 billion from both industrial and precious metals.

Aside from the copper, silver, gold and molybdenum, Utah is home to the world’s only volcanic source of beryllium, an extremely light metal used in the manufacturing of cellphones, missiles, spacecraft and satellites.

Juab County’s Spor Mountain, where mining began in 1969, produces about 70 percent of the global supply of beryllium, said Ken Krahulec, the Utah Geological Survey’s senior economic geologist.

“Spor Mountain is wildly unique,” he said, adding the material comes from volcanic rock, rather than granite. The mine has 50-plus years of reserve material. “It will be the world’s largest producer for potentially decades to come,” Krahulec said.

Beryllium is on the 2018 Department of Interior’s “critical mineral” list given its wide application for military and medical uses. The Utah Geological Survey recently released Utah Mining 2017, a publication that details the value and production of Utah’s mined commodities, including metals, industrial minerals and coal.

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