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Open-File Report 2011–1069

Mines and Mineral Processing Facilities in the Vicinity of the March 11, 2011, Earthquake in Northern Honshu, Japan

By W. David Menzie, Michael S. Baker, Donald I. Bleiwas, and Chin Kuo


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U.S. Geological Survey data indicate that the area affected by the March 11, 2011, magnitude 9.0 earthquake and associated tsunami is home to nine cement plants, eight iodine plants, four iron and steel plants, four limestone mines, three copper refineries, two gold refineries, two lead refineries, two zinc refineries, one titanium dioxide plant, and one titanium sponge processing facility. These facilities have the capacity to produce the following percentages of the world’s nonfuel mineral production: 25 percent of iodine, 10 percent of titanium sponge (metal), 3 percent of refined zinc, 2.5 percent of refined copper, and 1.4 percent of steel. In addition, the nine cement plants contribute about one-third of Japan’s cement annual production. The iodine is a byproduct from production of natural gas at the Miniami Kanto gas field, east of Tokyo in Chiba Prefecture. Japan is the world’s second leading (after Chile) producer of iodine, which is processed in seven nearby facilities.

Posted March 25, 2011

For additional information contact:
William D. Menzie
Energy and Minerals, and Environmental Health
U.S. Geological Survey
Mail Stop 991
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, VA 20192-0002

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Suggested citation:

Menzie, W.D., Baker, M.S., Bleiwas, D.I., and Kuo, Chin, 2011, Mines and mineral processing facilities in the vicinity of the March 11, 2011, earthquake in northern Honshu, Japan: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011–1069, 7 p. (Available only at


Mines and Mineral Processing Facilities in Northern Honshu, Japan

Requirements for Operation of the Mines and Mineral Processing Facilities



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