An Economic Analysis of an Oil Shale, Nahcolite, Dawsonite Complex in Colorado, Option III Circa 1971.
Option III concerns mining and processing a nahcolite deposit in the Piceance Creek Basin, Colorado, plus an underlying measure of oil shale containing 14.8 percent nahcolite and 11.6 percent dawsonite by weight, yielding 37 gallons of shale oil per ton. Principal products are soda ash, alumina, and shale oil. Coke, sulfur, and ammonia are evaluated as byproducts. A two-level shaft mining operation, retorting, partial refining, and a minerals processing plant requires a capital investment of $636,973,000 in 1971 dollars to process 8,000 tons per calendar day of white nahcolite ore and 60,000 tons per calendar day of mineral-bearing oil shale. An income of $257,599,600 based on 1971 prices requires $151,373,400 annual operating expenditures including labor, materials, maintenance, taxes, insurance, overhead, and depreciation. The discounted cash flow rate of return is 14.45 percent based on a weighted average depreciation life of 14.155 Years. This option differs from option II in depth of the shale bed mined and analysis of the deposit.