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CHAPTER SEVEN.

MINERAL PRODUCTION OF CALIFORNIA BY

COUNTIES.

Introductory.

The State of California includes an area of 155,652 square miles and is divided into fifty-eight counties. Some mineral of commercial value exists in every county, and during 1914 active production was reported to the State Mining Bureau from fifty-six counties of the fiftyeight. In the mountainous portions of the State are found the vein forming minerals, largely. In the vast desert regions of southeastern California ancient lake beds afford an unlimited supply of saline deposits. Underlying the interior valleys of the central and southern portion of the State are the largest pools of crude oil in the world. Building stones and mineral earths of all descriptions are widely distributed throughout the length and breadth of the State.

The counties, with their mineral resources, production for 1914, etc., will be considered in detail in this chapter.*

1. Kern

2. Orange

3. Fresno

Value of California Mineral Production, by County, for 1914, Arranged in the Order of Their Importance.

4. Shasta

5. Los Angeles

6. Nevada

7. Amador

8. Yuba

9. Santa Barbara

10. Sacramento

11. Inyo

12. Calaveras

13. Butte

14. Solano

15. Santa Cruz

16. San Bernardino

17. Riverside

18. Contra Costa

19. Placer

20. Tuolumne

21. Ventura

22. Napa

23. Alameda

24. Trinity

25. Sierra

26. Marin

27. San Benito

28. Siskiyou

29. Sonoma

30. San Diego

31. Santa Clara

$28,047,957 32. San Mateo
8,831,763 33. Imperial
7,484,231 34. Humboldt
5,044,930 35. Madera
4,665,504 36. Mariposa
3,329,179 37. Plumas
3,230,075 38. Tulare
2,820,895 39. El Dorado
2,686,309 40. San Joaquin

2,632,658 41. San Francisco
2,091,362 42. Monterey
2,068,343 43. Merced

1,755,315 44. Lake

1,683,866 45. San Luis Obispo.

1,642,958 | 46. Colusa

1,614,606 47. Glenn
1,579,586 48. Mono
1,149,321 49. Stanislaus
1,099,743 50. Del Norte
1,059,118 51. Lassen
1,000,729 52. Modoc
971,748 53. Kings
870,427 54. Yolo
753,745 55. Mendocino

733,000 56. Tehama

554,137 57. Alpine

436,259 58. Sutter

384,752

326,144

315,267

266,956

1Includes gold and silver production of Stanislaus.

2See Merced.

Asbestos
Platinum

Total

$246,478 239,140

233,574

203,517

187,870

164,809

161,252

150,086

129,930

119,889

113,831

1112,500

63,503

63,465

32,251

30,553

17,150

25,882

5,270

4,324

1,730

740

736

560

300

0

$1,530 414,800

$93,436,553

Amounts not separable.

Asbestos from Alameda, Calaveras, El Dorado, Placer, Shasta. 4Platinum from Butte, Del Norte, Sacramento, Siskiyou, Yuba. Amounts not separable. See also p. 33. *See also supplement to Chapter Three-Metals, pp. 33, 34. 6-18655

Alameda.

Alameda County, while in no sense one of the "mining counties" of the State, comes twenty-third on the list, with a value of mineral products for 1914 of $870,427, an increase over the 1913 total, which was $844,217. The principal mineral resources of this county consist of asbestos, brick, chromite, clay, coal, lime, magnesite, manganese, pyrite, salt, soapstone, and the stone industry. Commercial production for 1914 was as follows:

Brick
Clay

Limestone

Magnesite

Miscellaneous stone

Pyrite

Salt

Total

Substance

Amador.

[blocks in formation]

Alpine.

Alpine has usually shown a small production of gold and silver, but dropped out of the list of producing counties for 1914.

This county lies just south of Lake Tahoe, in the high Sierra Nevada range of mountains. Its area is 776 square miles, containing a population of but 309 persons. Transportation is by wagon or mule back, and facilities in general are lacking to promote development work of any kind.

The mineral resources of this section are varied and the country has not yet been thoroughly prospected. Barium, copper, gold, gypsum, lead, limestone, pyrite, rose quartz, silver, tourmaline, and zinc have been found here to some extent.

Area: 601 square miles.

Population: 9,086 (1910 census).

The value of Amador County's mineral production increased from $3,013,180 in 1913 to $3,230,075 in 1914, thus taking seventh place on the list of counties in the State as regards total value of mineral substances marketed.

Although having an output consisting of twelve different minerals, the leading product, gold, makes up nearly 98 per cent of the entire total. Amador is second in the State in gold production.

The mineral resources of this county are, in the main, as follows: Asbestos, brick, chromite, clay, coal, copper, gold, lime, quartz crystals, sand-glass, sandstone, silver, soapstone, and stone industry.

Commercial production for 1914 was as follows:

Brick
Clay

Coal

Copper

Gold

Lead

Lime

Quartz

Sand, glass
Sandstone

Silver

Soapstone

Total

Butte.

Gems
Gold

Lead

Mineral water

Miscellaneous stone

Silver

Total

[blocks in formation]

Substance

2,500 M

32,223 tons

5,700 tons
5,251 lbs.

44 lbs.
1,540 bbls.
1,250 tons

16,688 tons
3,960 cu. ft.

610 tons

Area: 1,722 square miles.

Population: 27,301 (1910 census).

Location: North central portion of State.

Butte, thirteenth county in California in regard to the value of its mineral output, reported a commercial production of six mineral substances having a total value of $1,755,315, as compared with $2,533,940 for 1913. As will be noted in the following tabulation, gold is by far the most important item. Butte stands fifth among the gold-producing counties of the State. Among the principal mineral resources of this section are asbestos, barytes, chromite, gems, gold, limestone, marble, mineral water, platinum minerals, silver, and stone industry.

Commercial production for 1914 was as follows:

Amount

Value

513 lbs. 1,200 gals.

$50,000

33,114

10,062

694

3,100,000

2

2,008

2,400

9,855

1,500

18,000

2,440

$3,230,075

Value

$100 1,700,000

20 300

50,895

4,000

$1,755,315

Calaveras.

Area: 1,027 square miles.

Population: 9,171.

Location: East central portion of State-Mother Lode district.

Calaveras County reported production of seven different minerals, valued at $2,068,343 during the year 1914, as compared with the 1913 output worth $2,042,901. Gold, copper and silver are the chief mineral substances produced. In regard to total value of mineral output Calaveras stands twelfth among the counties of the State; it is sixth in gold, second in copper, and third in silver.

The principal mineral resources developed and undeveloped are: Asbestos, barytes, chromite, clay, copper, fuller's earth, gold, graphite, limestone, magnesite, marble, mineral paint, mineral water, platinum minerals, pyrite, quartz crystals, silver, soapstone, and the stone industry.

Commercial production for 1914 was as follows:

[blocks in formation]

Area: 1,140 square miles.

Population: 7,732 (1910 census).

Location: Sacramento Valley.

Colusa County lies largely in the basin of the Sacramento Valley. Its western border, however, rises into the foothills of the Coast Range of mountains, and its mineral resources-to a great extent undeveloped -include coal, chromite, copper, gypsum, manganese, mineral water, pyrite, quicksilver, sandstone, stone industry, sulphur, and in some places traces of gold and silver.

The value of the 1914 production was $32,251, a decrease from the 1913 figures of $48,481, giving it forty-sixth place.

Commercial production for 1914 was as follows:

Mineral water
Sandstone

Total

Contra Costa.

Brick
Coal

Lime

Limestone

Mineral water

Miscellaneous stone

Other minerals

Total

Del Norte.

[blocks in formation]

Contra Costa, like Alameda County, lies off the eastern shores of San Francisco Bay, and is not commonly considered among the mineralproducing counties of the State. It stands eighteenth on the list in this respect, however, with an output valued at $1,149,321 for the calendar year 1914. Various structural materials make up the chief items. Among the others are brick, clay, coal, gypsum, limestone, manganese, mineral water, soapstone, and stone industry.

Commercial production for 1914 was as follows:

Substance

92,000 gals.
16,000 cu. ft.

Amount

16,064 M

67 tons 5,666 tons 32,657 tons 364,288 gals.

Value

Area: 1,024 square miles.

Population: 2,417 (1910 census).

Location: Extreme northwest corner of State.

$24,951 7,300

$32,251

Value

$129,543

268

4,724 43,661 3,643

308,727 658,755

$1,149,321

Transportation: Wagon and mule back.

Del Norte rivals Alpine County in regard to inaccessibility. Like the latter county also, given transportation and kindred facilities, this portion of the State presents a wide field for development along mining lines especially. Its chief mineral resources, largely untouched, are chromite, copper, gems, gold, graphite, iron, platinum minerals, silver and stone industry.

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