Utah’s mineral extraction industry recorded a successful year on 2009, according to a recently released publication.

The Utah Geological Survey’s (UGS) 2009 Summary of Mineral Activity in Utah publication reveals that despite a recession induced dip from peak commodity values in 2008, Utah ranked third nationally in the value of nonfuel minerals produced in 2009, accounting for about 7% of the total value of U.S. production. Utah mines and energy companies produced a gross value of $6.97 billion in mineral and energy commodities in 2009 from oil gas (37%), base metals (31%), industrial minerals (14%), coal-uranium (9%), and precious metals (9%). All sectors suffered a dip from mid-2008, except for precious metals which expanded on higher prices.





Residents in south-central Utah awoke to an earthquake Wednesday morning.

The University of Utah seismograph center has downgraded the magnitude of the quake to 3.8. It hit at 6:51 a.m. about nine miles southwest of Cedar City, at a depth of about four miles.

The magnitude of the quake was originally said to be 4.1.

Emergency dispatchers say there have been no reports of damage or injury.




On the same day a group of lawmakers was pressed about the need to increase “mineral literacy” in Utah, a new report showed the state now ranks No. 3 in the nation for the value of non-fuel minerals produced in 2009.

Overall, Utah’s contribution was logged at 7 percent of the total value of the country’s production, according to a report issued Wednesday by the Utah Geological Survey.

It is the first time, Utah geologists believe, that the state has been able to edge out rival California, which has historically come in third behind Arizona and Nevada because of its production of industrial minerals for the construction industry.

“Because of the recession, California fell from three to four, and we moved up to three,” said Ken Krahulec, senior geologist with the Utah Geological Survey. “I would not be surprised if this was the first time ever. Historically, we are in the top 10, but I think four is as high as we have been before.”



nvironmentalists long have dreamed of a time when the massive coal-fired plants that generate much of the nation’s electricity will fall idle, replaced by small, nonpolluting power production on individual homes and businesses.

For a slowing growing number of Utahns that dream no longer seems so far-fetched.

When Doug Shipley of Intermountain Wind & Solar opens the power bill for his 2,400 square-foot home in Farmington, most of the time it shows he hasn’t taken any energy off of the state’s power grid during the month.

Instead, the 24 solar panels on his property — installed at a cost of approximately $24,000 — produce all the electricity his family needs.



The Iron County Commission was poised to vote Monday on a geologic hazard ordinance that has been in the making for about six months when Commissioner Lois Bulloch threw a wrench in the works.

Bulloch recommended that an independent group review the proposed ordinance and make recommendations.

“I’ve heard a lot of consternation over this issue and had input in letters and calls and am just not comfortable moving forward,” said Bulloch. “Sorry to drop this bomb.”

Bulloch suggested that a committee with representatives of the county’s six municipalities, a city attorney and engineers look at the ordinance line by line and make specific changes.

“This way we won’t be accused of not listening,” said Bulloch.

Bill Lund, a geologist with the Utah Geological Survey, told commissioners a review by new eyes is a good idea and recommended including an official of a city or county in Utah that has already dealt with a similar ordinance.