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vertical vein deposits formed in tension faults having certain characteristics. The recognition of these characteristics and their surface clues constitute the major difficulty for new geologists coming into the district, and there is no substitution for considerable time in the field.

This domed area consists of rocks ranging in age from Devonian to Lower Pennsylvanian, with most of the favorable ore zones consigned to the Upper Mississippi limestone sections. Flanking the domed areas on all sides are the younger, unfaulted cretaceous rocks, Ohio River flood-plain alluviums, and featureless Upper Pennsylvanian rocks. It will take deep and expensive drilling to explore the extensions of favorable fault zones where they extend beneath these flanking rocks, and much geophysical data is needed.

Here I wish to suggest strongly that both State and Federal Governments seriously consider at this time two types of geophysical programs on a broad and regional scale:

(1) An air-borne magnetometer survey over an area broader than current new mapping with particular emphasis on the west and southwest portions of the district.

(2) A regional gravity meter survey over the same area as the magnetometer survey.

It is hoped that the combination of these two geophysical surveys will yield valuable clues to the attitude of the igneous basement in respect to the deepseated faults and other irregularities that may have a bearing upon the source of fluorite-bearing solutions. Too little is known of the origin of the mineraliza

tion in this district since it is several thousand feet to the granite. Donald B. Saxby, our chief geologist, will be glad to consult with any Government personnel on the details of such a program at your convenience.

The lack of any stable market for domestic fluorspar products in recent years has been very damaging to the budget requirements of geological departments of the independent companies. For a company such as ours, which must strive to produce some 60,000 tons per year of various grades of fluorspar products, it is necessary to have a two or three man geological staff, with helpers and a surveyor, plus sufficient money to maintain four or five diamond or churn drill prospecting crews all year and examine at least three "wildcat" prospecting areas in the district by drilling, besides looking for new reserves within more favorable mineralized areas. Since such activity requires a budget of $40,000 to $90,000 per year, and sometimes more if much deep drilling is included, you can see that a healthy condition in the company must exist before boards of directors will allocate this money for prospecting and development of new reserves. There is still much room in the Illinois-Kentucky district for programs of this size. The budget can be split into an investigation locally and also investigations in Western States, but Minerva has not yet found it necessary to look farther afield and subject itself to the more unfavorable geographical factors involving western fluorspar deposits. This does not go to say, however, that we do not believe that there are favorable potentials for large fluorspar deposits in several western areas. Prospecting of these areas has either just well begun or has not commenced.

In closing, we wish to remark that our own production is reducing the 221⁄2 million ton estimated reserve of the U.S. Geological Survey by very little. Over 80 percent of our production in 1958 was from ores of less than 35 percent CaF, grade and our anticipated production within the next few years will be in a somewhat similar proportion. There is no doubt in our mind that 16 million tons of the inferred and possible tonnage can be considered very probable, as we felt the way in which the U.S. Geological Survey geologists calculated tonnage was very conservative with respect to the reserves in the IllinoisKentucky district.

The principle that has been true in the oil industry, and with many minerals, that demand and adequate price will stimulate the creation of more reserves, is also very true of the relatively new fluorspar industry, and will remain true for many years yet to come.

Very truly yours,

GILL MONTGOMERY,

Vice President/General Manager.

EAGLE PASS, TEX., April 20, 1959.

SENATE COMMITTEE ON INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS,
U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.:

We are strongly opposed to the passage of Senate bill S. 1285. If this bill should become law, it would have a bad effect on the economy of the U.S. towns on the Mexican border through which fluorspar is imported from Mexico. Eagle Pass has a fluorspar plant that depends on Mexican fluorspar to operate. Also consider the bad effect the passage of this bill would have on the economy of Mexico, which the United States is very much interested in at this time.

Respectfully,

X

EAGLE PASS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE,
HARVEY SEYMOUR, Secretary-Manager.

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