When the Organic Act of 1910 established the Bureau of Mines within the Department of the Interior, the Bureau's programs involved only health and safety research and education, and fuels testing. As the federal government's primary agency for research in minerals, the Bureau has expanded its scientific and technological investigations to mining, processing mineral substances, eliminating the occupational health and safety hazards in the mineral industries, economic development, and resources conservation. Bureau activities cover a broad spectrum of programs for meeting the diverse (and sometimes conflicting) needs of mineral industries, government, and the public. The Bureau has initiated programs to resolve environmental problems associated with past mining and mineral processing. Dependence on foreign sources of raw materials critical to our national economy and competition from other countries for these world supplies stimulated the need to conserve and use with intelligence the nation's minerals, metals, and materials. Research and development programs are conducted at 13 reserach facilities across the country, plus a helium production and conservation program. Research 78 is the eighth in a series of annual Bureau of Mines publications highlighting significant research and mineral intelligence studies.