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STUDY OF PREVENTION OF SILICOSIS Mr. SCRUGHAM. What additional studies, in your opinion, should be made under the authority of the Bureau of Mines for the prevention of silicosis?
Mr. JACKSON. We could study the method of prevention and control of dust as it occurs in mines.
Mining is a highly specialized industry, and, after all, the actual prevention of silicosis has got to be done by the men operating the mines.
Mr. SCRUGHAM. That is what I am trying to develop. Mr. Jackson. The advice of the medical profession is all right. They are trying to find out what causes silicosis, but, after all, we have got to eliminate the dust. We know that we have to do that; but I may say that in mines the problem is one that must be solved by the mine operators, and we are trying to assist them by investigating the fundamentals of the problem.
COOPERATION OF MINING INTERESTS WITH THE DEPARTMENT
Mr. Rich. May I ask a question right there? Do you have cooperation by the large mining interests in trying to reduce this?
Mr. JACKSON. I am getting a little bit out of my field here, for the reason that the mining industry comes to our Health and Safety Branch for advice and for studies in their mines. Mr. Harrington, the head of the Health and Safety Branch, tells me, he cannot meet the demands for service along these lines, and he is very anxious to lave a laboratory on a mine scale, such as the experimental tunnel, where studies of a fundamental nature can be made.
Mr. Rich. Do you have the cooperation of the mining interests of this country?
Mr. Jackson. Oh, absolutely. Mr. Rich. If you gave them the information necessary to reduce this hazard, would you have the cooperation of the mining interests?
Mr. Jackson. One hundred percent. It is a matter of dollars and cents with them now.
Mr. Rich. Are they trying to reduce it? Mr. JACKSON. Most of the larger companies are very active along those lines at the present time, and the subject is one on which
Mr. Rich. If the largest companies cold get the assistance from the Government to do that work, and to save them that expense, they would be after it?
Mr. JACKSON. No; because they have to apply the methods that We would work out.
Mr. Rich. Do the smaller companies cooperate with you? Mr. Jackson. The smaller companies, on the whole, are not interested to the same extent that the larger companies are.
Mr. Rich. Why? Mr. Jackson. Well, probably because they have not the realiza1.sn of the magnitude of the problem and what it may mean to them. I find as I go about the larger mines of the country that they are all istensely interested in this subject and are doing everything that they can to minimize the dust hazard, but there is no agreement among
the operators as to what the best methods are, because there is very little known about the fundamentals of the subject. If we are going to give the assistance demanded of us, we must make these fundamental studies.
Mr. Rich. There is a great deal of thought in the minds of many of our people to the effect that the bigger a corporation, the more they are interested in exploiting people. Do you find that to be true?
Mr. JACKSON. I do not find it so, Mr. Rich. When I compare conditions now with what they were when I worked in the mines in Butte, Mont., and Arizona, in 1906, 1907, and 1908, along in there, I would say that the working man's interests are a good deal better taken care of now than they were then. There has been a vast improvement along that line.
Mr. Rich. As a rule, the corporations are more vitally interested in the welfare of the employees today than they have ever been. Mr. JACKSON. Decidedly so.
GEOPHYSICAL PROSPECTING Mr. ScrUGHAM. Mr. Jackson, this committee has been interested in previous years in the study of geophysical prospecting. It is generally believed that in the future more new ore will be found in this country and in Alaska in and adjacent to known mineralized areas than in new districts. Such ore will probably be found in the form of extensions to deposits and areas already worked and in blind lodes which do not apex at or near the surface. For this reason 3 years ago this committee made a very considerable increase in the appropriation for geophysical prospecting. Does that come under your Division?
Mr. JACKSON. At that time I was not here, Governor. Mr. SCRUGHAM. Will you make any comment on this type of prospecting that you care to make for the benefit of the record?
Mr. JACKSON. Geophysics as applied to ore-finding is a comparatively new science and a vast amount of research remains to be done before it can be employed with confidence, except for certain deposits to which geophysical methods respond most readily. In this application, however, it has already become a useful "tool” for geologists who understand its limitations as well as its possibilities in providing additional information to that supplied by conventional geological observations.
Further development of this science in its adaptation to ore-finding can best be accomplished in close cooperation with and under the control of expert geologists. It is believed that a geophysical group should therefore comprise not only able physicists, but also geologists possessed of wide experience and technical knowledge. That is my opinion.
Mr. SCRUGHAM. In other words, the geophysical prospecting should be an adjunct to the scientific department rather than the scientific agency being an adjunct to geophysical prospecting?
Mr. Jackson. My opinion is that geophysics is a tool for the geologists.
Mr. SCRUGHAM. And not geology a tool for the geophysicist?
Mr. Jackson. In my opinion, it furnishes additional criteria, additional indications for the geologist to follow. Mr. SCRUGHAM. Thank you very much.
CONVERSION OF MINERAL RAW MATERIALS OF THE WESTERN STATES
INTO MARKETABLE FORM Next is Dr. R. S. Dean, Chief of the Metallurgical Division. At the outset I may state that, under the direction of the Bureau of Mines, Dr. Dean has done some very remarkable work in solving the problem of beneficiating low-grade manganese ores in this country, that I regard as of incalculable value to the country.
Dr. Dean, is your Division conducting investigations concerning the conversion of mineral raw materials of the Western States into marketable form?
Dr. DEAN. Yes.
Mr. SCRUGHAM. State in your own way what investigations are under way.
Dr. DEAN. That is one of the major problems before our Division, I think that our work in developing an electrolytic method of recovering manganese is an example of the type of activity we are carrying on in this regard.
Mr. SCRUGHAM. In the hearings before the Naval Appropriations Subcommittee, it was stated by the chairman of the committee appointed for the purpose of investigating the need for strategic war materials, and concurred in by the remainder of the board, that the supplies of manganese in this country were so scanty or totally inadequate that they recommended the purchase of such materials from foreign sources.
In view of the researches which you have been conducting, do you consider that there is any necessity for purchases from foreign countries, or do you think that the domestic market, under proper conditions of encouragement, can be supplied from domestic sources?
Dr. DEAN. I believe that if the estimates which have been made by the United States Geological Survey and others interested in the manganese problem are correct, there is adequate manganese ore in this country to provide for the domestic needs.
Mr. ScruGHAM. Has your work on manganese gone far enough for you to compute the cost of a 100-tons-a-day plant? In other words, to ascertain whether or not domestic supplies favorably located can be beneficiated to compete with the foreign product?
Dr. DEAN. We feel that the cost of plant and operation are comparable with similar costs for electrolytic zinc plants. That would mean that with a plant of comparable size to the larger electrolytic zinc plants of, we will say, a capacity of roughly 100 tons per day, that the cost of electrolytic manganese would be of the order of the cost of electrolytic zinc. We do not know the exact cost of the production of electrolytic zinc in the larger plants, such as Anaconda, but it must be of the order of 5 cents per pound.
Mr. SCRUGHAM. This subject is of such tremendous national importance that I would be very glad to have you amplify your views, if you care to do so, for the benefit of the record.
Dr. DEAN. Well, by way of amplification I may say that we are now producing in our small plant approximately at the rate of 10 pounds per day, and we plan to produce during the remainder of the present fiscal year several hundred pounds of manganese in order that we may get more complete information. Mr. SCRUGHAM. Explain what you mean by manganese.
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Dr. Dean. By manganese I mean pure metallic manganese, an article which is not at present available at any price. Metallic manganese, as it is marketed today, is made by one of two methods by reduction with silicon, in which case the resulting metal invariably contains a certain percentage of silicon, or by reduction with carbon and subsequent removal of most of that carbon, in which case the resulting manganese inevitably contains a small percentage of carbon.
Now, we know that these small percentages of impurities have a very undesirable effect upon the alloys which are made with these materials. Consequently the manganese which we are able to produce by this process is a better material for the manufacture of alloys than is any high-purity manganese which can be obtained today.
For steel manufacture, ferromanganese is used.
Mr. ScrIGHAM. Will you reduce these cost estimates into terms of ferromanganese?
Dr. Dean. The cost of manganese contained in ferro at present market prices is approximately 5 cents per pound.
Mr. O'NEAL. That is the processing cost?
Dr. Dean. No, that is the cost of manganese in the form of an 80 percent alloy, known as ferromanganese.
Mr. SCRIGHAM. Do you recall offhand the tonnage of ferromanganese or manganese imported or brought into this country, per year, to supply the national needs?
Dr. Dean. I could not give you a reliable estimate without referring to the Minerals Year Book. But in normal years, broadly, we import 600,000 tons of 50-percent manganese ore.
Mr. ScriGHAM. I wish to emphasize at this point that in case of international embargoes or complications, this supply of manganese might be lagrely cut off from importation into this country. Such a situation is not only possible, but probable.
Mr. O'NEAL. What other strategic ores do you speak of?
Mr. SCRIGHAM. I will bring out the others later, through another witness.
Proceed with your statement, Dr. Dean.
Dr. Dean, I stated that with our small plant, we expected to produce several hundred pounds of high-purity metallic manganese which we would use to obtain information concerning the advantage which this high-purity manganese has over the existing material, and that beyond that work the next step is the installation of a full-sized plant for the production of manganese. We feel that by the end of this fiscal year we would be in a position to furnish the basis for the design of such a plant.
Mr. SCRIGHAM. I consider the work done by the Metallurgical Division along such lines of incalculable value to this country, and I wish to stress its importance.
Are there other mineral resources, deficient mineral resources, of similar nature ---
Mr. O'NEAL. May I ask a question before you get into that?
Is the plant that you now have for mahing manganese of the type that you mentioned on such a scale that it would be very practicable from a commercial standpoint, or is it merely a laboratory plant?
Dr. Dean. It is rather more than a laboratory plant, although it is not of a size which would produce manganese in such an amount that it could be sold at a profit. It is, however, large enough to give us satisfactory information concerning methods, and fairly reliable information with regard to costs, although the question of cost must always be determined accurately only by a practical, full-scale plant.
Mr. Rich. What do you mean by cost? Do you mean the price that We would be able to import it for, in comparison to what we would be able to manufacture it for?
Dr. Dean. That is right. We have not taken into consideration the matter of freight. We would, as a matter of fact, have no very good means of taking freight into consideration, because I do not believe that there is at the present time a schedule on metallic manganese.
Mr. Rich. Practically all of the manganese that we use is imported? Dr. Dean. The ores are imported.
Mr. Rich. And you are now trying to develop something whereby we can take it out of our own resources?
Dr. DEAN. That is right.
Mr. Rich. What is the principal item of expense in connection with the extracting of it? Dr. DEAN. Power.
Mr. Rich. Then I suppose that these power developments that we have in the West are utilized by you in connection with your work?
Dr. Dean. Our work is being done in connection with the Boulder Dam development, and the ore which we have used in our experimental development comes from near Las Vegas, and is just 8 miles by air line from Boulder Dam.
Mr. Rich. Then you figure that eventually we will be able to be self-sustaining with our own manganese?
Dr. Dean. I see no reason why we should not be, with the possible exception of freight.
Mr. Rich. Leave the question of freight out of it. Could we supply what we would need ourselves, in case of emergency?
Dr. DEAN. I believe that we can.
Mr. Rich. And even if the freight were an item, at that time we would not consider it? Dr. Dean. That is right.
Mr. SCRUGHAM. Now, Dr. Dean, the question is, do you think that «umilar results might be obtained in the beneficiation of low-grade ores,
arh as nickel or even tin if the deposits of such material should afvelop?
Dr. Deas. There are many known mineral resources, in the West particularly, which could be utilized if processes for successfully Proeficiating them were developed. The possibility of cheap power
in Government projects may make economic beneficiation possible a many cases.
Referring to nickel, which you mentioned, we are doing some Fork now on the beneficiation of the nickel ore from the Bunkerville strict, Nevada.
ERADICATION OF NOXIOUS WEEDS
Mr. Scrrgham. There has been a great deal of pressure brought to Bear on Members of Congress for a very large appropriation for the ridication of noxious weeds. A bill is now pending before a conference of the Senate and House in which the sum of $2,000,000 has been authorized by the Bureau of the Budget for weed eradiction.