In the 1970’s Western Mud (now GEO Drilling Fluids, Inc.) wasIMCO Plant concerned about the continuing supply of Barite. The available supplies were all controlled by the largest mud companies and a price squeeze seemed possible. To protect against this vulnerable position, a number of mining claims with Barite deposits in the Sierra Nevada mountains were purchased, as well as a mill in Sacramento, to grind the ore into the familiar oilfield product.
The mill, known as Industrial Minerals Company (IMCO) has provided a wide range of products and services for the minerals processing industry and ceramic art markets since the early 1950’s. Located near the source of a variety of western clays, IMCO is well situated to mine, process and market our California resources.
About 1990, the mine was exhausted and closed. The remaining ore was ground and bagged and has all been used. The mill still belongs to GEO Drilling Fluids, but operates independently as Industrial Minerals Company (IMCO). As domestic Barite resources became scarer recently, we have purchased ore from China. This stockpile is used to grind and bag our own Baite.