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Asbestos ore & mine locations: Where has asbestos been mined around the world, where are the principal asbestos deposits? This article describes the locations of asbestos ore deposits around the world and where asbestos was mined.
This articles series about the manufacture & use of asbestos-containing products includes detailed information on the production methods, asbestos content, and the identity and use of asbestos-containing materials.
Asbestos is made available to industry either directly from
the mines or through distributors. Ninety per cent of the
asbestos is obtained directly from the mines. Most of the
companies that mine asbestos use it principally as an ingredient
in their products and have only a secondary interest
in supplying it to other companies.
[Click to enlarge any image]
Asbestos ore deposits have been found in almost all quarters
of the world.
The chief producers of industrial asbestos
in the world are Canada, Russia, South Rhodesia and the
Union of South Africa. The Canadian asbestos deposits are
generally considered to be superior to others insofar as essential
properties of infusibility, tensile strength, fineness, low
iron content, and elasticity are concerned.
The United States is the world's largest consumer and
producer of asbestos products. The main source of asbestos
for United States is Canada providing approximately 90 per
cent of the asbestos used. Domestic asbestos contributes approximately
seven per cent.
United States Asbestos Ore Deposit Locations
Domestic deposits of asbestos are principally
found in the states of Vermont and Arizona with
small quantities available in North Carolina, Georgia, California,
Washington and Alaska.
In Vermont, chrysotile asbestos deposits are found in slipfiber
veins. Even though the slip fiber is quite long, it is
not suitable for textile production.
The United States with
its Vermont asbestos mines ranks next in order of importance
in the production of chrysotile to Canada and Africa.
These deposits supply approximately 3,000 tons of ore per
day to a modern plant producing close to forty thousand
tons of fiber per year, with a good proportion in the medium
length grades. See Figure 1.1 at left.
The Arizona asbestos is of the chrysotile variety and
occurs as cross fiber. Because of its extreme low iron content,
it is used primarily for electrical insulation and
Figure 1.1 - at above left: View of a quarry bench shows the Vermont asbestos mine
filling a high valley in the Green Mountains. (Courtesy The Ruberoid Co.)
Although amphibole asbestos is available in different localities
in the United States, the bulk of it is found in
Georgia. The output of amphibole asbestos in United States
is very small.
Asbestos MIne Locations in California Counties and the Eastern United States
The U.S.G.S. United States Department of Geological Survey reports (as of 2008) 542 locations in the U.S. where asbestos occurs naturally (and may have been mined). http://mrdata.usgs.gov/asbestos/
Chubb Custom Cartography at the company's website: cccarto.com provides links to maps showing the locations of numerous asbestos mines in the U.S .for the U.S. states listed below. Example live links are included below. You can contact the company by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Asbestos Occurrences in Nevada NV
USGS Open-File Report 2008-1095
Reported historic asbestos mines, historic asbestos prospects, and natural asbestos occurrences in the southwestern United States (Arizona, Nevada, and Utah) http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1095/ - (13 March 2008) in turn cites three asbestos mine locations in Nevada discussed in
Van Gosen, B.S., 2008, Reported Historic Asbestos Mines, Historic Asbestos Prospects, and Natural Asbestos Occurrences in the Southwestern United States (Arizona, Nevada, and Utah): U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2008-1095, 1 plate.
Excerpt Nevada and Utah asbestos deposits. Only a few, widely scattered asbestos deposits are
documented in Nevada and Utah. Most of these deposits are small occurrences of amphibole
asbestos, including one small past producer of mass-fiber tremolite asbestos in Utah
no. 1 mine. In the Southwestern U.S., tremolite and actinolite are commonly reported in the contactmetamorphic
(skarn) zone of metallic ore deposits, which formed where an igneous body intruded
and metamorphosed a magnesium-bearing carbonate rock. In most instances, the literature does not
describe the crystal form of the tremolite or actinolite. Thus, several instances of unreported fibrous
to asbestiform tremolite-actinolite may occur in skarn geologic environments in these States.
Also see ASBESTOS ORIGIN & NATURE which reports recent (2014-2015) concern with naturally-occurring asbestos deposits being disturbed (airborne asbestos) by the mining of asbestos-contaminated vermiculite, discussed by geologists in Boulder City, Nevada.
Asbestos Occurrences in New Jersey NJ
Asbestos Occurrences in New York NY included The New Rochelle Serpentinite mine - Chrysotile Asbestos, and a number of asbestos mines right on Staten Island mined for chrysotile and anthophyllite asbestos
Asbestos Mines in Calaveras Co
Asbestos Mines in Contra Costa Co
Asbestos Mines in Fresno Co
Asbestos Mines in Gila Co
Asbestos Mines in Kern Co
Asbestos Mines in Kings Co
Asbestos Mines in Lake Co Asbestos Mines in Los Angeles Co
Asbestos Mines in Merced Co
Asbestos Mines in Monterey Co
Asbestos Mines in Napa Co
Asbestos Mines in Nevada Co
Asbestos Mines in Plumas Co
Asbestos Mines in Riverside Co
Asbestos Mines in Riverside Co
Asbestos Mines in San Bernardino Co
Asbestos Mines in Siskiyou Co
Asbestos Mines in Trinity Co
Asbestos Mines in Tulare Co
[Thanks to reader Chris for these additions 8/10/14 - Ed. From Chris's post we removed promotional links that did not directly provider asbestos mine locations.]
Canadian Asbestos Mines & Ore Locations
For the past 80 years [to 1959], the largest and most extensive
asbestos mining operations in the world have been
in the eastern townships of the Province of Quebec. Canada
produces asbestos in four provinces; i.e., Quebec, Ontario,
British Columbia and Newfoundland.
A predominant characteristic of Canadian asbestos, as
compared to asbestos in other countries, is the remarkable
degree of its uniformity as regards its chemical composition
and consequently in its technical properties. Modern
mill facilities are available. See Figure 1.2.
Figure 1.2. Aerial view showing Johns-Manville asbestos fiber (completely
ventilated) mill in foreground, head frame of underground
mine at right, and open pit mine in background.
(Courtesy Johns-Manville Corp.)
Since 1950 capital expenditures in the mining of Canadian
asbestos have been approximately $100,000,000.00. Approximately
95 per cent of the fibers mined is chrysotile. Some
production occurs in various locations in the mining of tremolite,
actinolite, and anthophyllite.
Asbestos Ore Deposits & Mining in Great Britain
The manufacture of asbestos products is a
major industry in Great Britain. The principal source of
asbestos is Africa. There are relatively no domestic deposits
in the British Isles.
Asbestos Ore Deposits & Mining in South Africa
The three important varieties of asbestos
are found in this area. Chrysotile is economically available
in large quantities. Crocidolite or Blue asbestos was discovered
in approximately 1803 in Cape Providence and
Transvaal in South Africa. "Amosite" was discovered in
1907 by a company known as Asbestos Mines of South
Africa. The name "Amosite" was derived from the initials
of the company.
Asbestos Ore Deposits & Mining in Southern Rhodesia
Chrysotile is the only variety of asbestos
found in Southern Rhodesia. This area ranks next to
Canada as a world source for chrysotile asbestos; although,
the Russian deposits are probably larger. There are different
mines in the area however, the largest and most popular
being the Shabani Mine.
Asbestos Ore Deposits & Mining in Russia
The enormous territory of the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics contains asbestos deposits to such an
extent that it should be considered one of the principal producers
of asbestos in the world. However, these deposits are
generally considered second of importance to the Canadian.
Prior to World War I, Russia occupied second place among
the world's asbestos producers. Its largest asbestos mines are
situated in the Ural Mountains; deposits also exist in Siberia.
Russia is now [in 1959] reporting a production totaling 790,000
short tons, including 250,000 tons of Groups 7 and 8, with
plans for a very substantial increase which will bring the
annual figure to more than 1,000,000 tons. It is understood
that important chrysotile deposits are under development in
the Province of Kazakhstan in Middle Asia with the production
of 500,000 tons of fiber annually slated before 1960.
Asbestos Ore Deposits & Mining in Cyprus
The island of Cyprus is second to the Italian deposits;
it contains the oldest known asbestos mines. Greeks
obtained their asbestos for the eternal lamps and shrouds
of kings from these mines. Chrysotile is of prime importance;
however, most of the fibers are of the short variety.
Asbestos Ore Deposits & Mining in Italy
The asbestos industry originated in Italy through
the mines located in the North; the main area is around
Torino. Tremolite and chrysotile are of prime importance.
Asbestos Ore Deposits & Mining in Finland and Yugoslavia
World production of the amphibole
varieties of asbestos other than crocidolite and Amosite
comparatively limited. The larger quantity is apparently
mined in Finland and Yugoslavia. In 1956 Finnish production
was 18,000 tons. For the same year in Yugoslavia, production
was 8,000 tons.
Canada's asbestos ore reserves are estimated at 47 million
tons, based on a mine life of 50 to 75 years. This figure
includes a minimum of 20 years of open pit operations. It is
difficult to estimate total amount of asbestos fiber reserves,
inasmuch as mine owners consider the information to be
confidential. In addition, new asbestos ore deposits are being
discovered. These not only increase the present supply but
also the reserves.
Based on the afore-mentioned figure, and a recent United
States Department of Commerce review on this subject, the
conclusion is that there will continue to be an ample supply
of asbestos fibers. The basic problem will probably be how
to take advantage of available fibers.
The Western Hemisphere is self sufficient in chrysotile,
but research is definitely needed to develop substitutes and
the strategic and limited availability of amosite
and crocidolite. Chrysotile is the most important fiber;
fortunately, it is the most abundant.
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 Asbestos, its Industrial Applications, D.V. Rosato, engineering consultant, Newton MA, Reinhold Publishing Co., NY, 1959, Library of Congress Catalog No. 59-12535. We are in process of re-publishing this interesting text. Excerpts & adaptations are found in InspectApedia.com articles on asbestos history, production & visual identification in and on buildings.
 "Asbestos in Plastic Compositions", A.B. Cummins, Modern Plastics [un-dated, pre 1952]
 "Asbestos in Your Home," Spokane County Air Pollution Control Authority, Spokane WA 509-477-4727 www.scapa.org provides a one-page image, a .pdf file drawing of a house warning of some possible sources of asbestos in the home. The sources are not ranked according to actual risk of releasing hazardous levels of airborne asbestos fibers and the list is useful but incomplete.
 The US EPA provides a sample list of asbestos containing products epa.gov/earth1r6/6pd/asbestos/asbmatl.htm
 "Characterization of asbestos exposure among
automotive mechanics servicing and handling
asbestos-containing materials", Gary Scott Dotson, University of South Florida, 1 June 2006, web search 3/9/2012 original source: scholarcommons.usf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3505&context=etd [copy on file as /hazmat/Automotive_Asbestos_Exposuret.pdf ].
 Asbestos Identification and Testing References
Asbestos Identification, Walter C.McCrone, McCrone Research Institute, Chicago, IL.1987 ISBN 0-904962-11-3. Dr. McCrone literally "wrote the book" on asbestos identification procedures which formed
the basis for current work by asbestos identification laboratories.
Stanton, .F., et al., National Bureau of Standards Special Publication 506: 143-151
Pott, F., Staub-Reinhalf Luft 38, 486-490 (1978) cited by McCrone
 Asbestos in Your Home U.S. EPA, Exposure Evaluation Division, Office of Toxic Substances, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington,D.C. 20460
 Asbestos products and their history and use in various building materials such as asphalt and vinyl flooring includes discussion which draws on Asbestos, Its Industrial Applications, D.V. Rosato, engineering consultant, Newton, MA, Reinhold Publishing, 1959 Library of Congress Catalog Card No.: 59-12535 (out of print, text and images available at InspectAPedia.com).
 "Handling Asbestos-Containing roofing material - an update", Carl Good, NRCA Associate Executive Director, Professional Roofing, February 1992, p. 38-43
 EPA Guidance for Controlling Asbestos-Containing Materials in buildings, NIAST, National Institute on Abatement Sciences & Technology, [republishing EPA public documents] 1985 ed., Exposure Evaluation Division, Office of Toxic Substances, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington,D.C. 20460 Copy on file as - /hazmat/Asbestos_in_Your_Home_US_EPA.pdf - Asbestos in Your Home - U.S. EPA, Exposure Evaluation Division, Office of Toxic Substances, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington,D.C. 20460
Basic Information about Asbestos, US EPA, web search 08/17/2010, original source: http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/help.html
"Handling Asbestos-Containing roofing material - an update", Carl Good, NRCA Associate Executive Director, Professional Roofing, February 1992, p. 38-43
EPA Guidance for Controlling Asbestos-Containing Materials in buildings, NIAST, National Institute on Abatement Sciences & Technology, [republishing EPA public documents] 1985 ed., Exposure Evaluation Division, Office of Toxic Substances, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington,D.C. 20460
Copy on file as - /hazmat/Asbestos_in_Your_Home_US_EPA.pdf - Asbestos in Your Home - U.S. EPA, Exposure Evaluation Division, Office of Toxic Substances, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington,D.C. 20460
[copy on file as /hazmat/Vermiculite_US_EPA.pdf/ Current Best Practices for Vermiculite Attic Insulation - May 2003, U.S. EPA
[copy on file as] /hazmat/Vermiculite_Health_Canada.pdf] Vermiculite Insulation Containing Amphibole Asbestos - September 2009, Health Canada
Managing Asbestos in Place, How to Develop and Maintain a Building Asbestos Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Program, U.S. EPA, web search 01/20/2011, original source: http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/management_in_place.html
Asbestos Strategies, Lessons Learned about Management and Use of Asbestos: Report of Findings and Recommendations on the Use and Management of Asbestos, 16 May 2003, US EPA, web search 01/20/2011, original source: http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/asbstrategiesrptgetf.pdf
prepared by the: Global Environment & Technology Foundation, 7010 Little River Turnpike, Suite. 460, Annandale VA 20003
Other US EPA Publications on asbestos: web search 01/20/2011, see http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/pubs.html
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
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The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume.
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