Oregon's natural chromite resources in Coos County could put the state in the same league as top producers like South Africa and Turkey.
Oregon Resources Corp. wants to begin sifting through piles of sand in the region later this year, which could eventually lead to the only chromite mine in the U.S.
The last time the heavy mineral had been produced here -- and in this country -- was during World War II, with a blip in the Korean War. Then 20 years ago, Oregon Resources showed up on the South Coast, looking to mine high-grade chromite ore.
Industrial Minerals Corporation LTD., based in Australia, founded Oregon Resources in 1989, specifically to mine black sands for chromite, zircon and garnet in forestlands near Coos Bay -- through a one-of-a-kind chromite mining operation.
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