COMMODITY / CHEMICAL BRIEFS

COMMODITY / CHEMICAL BRIEFS

COTTON GROWERS EXPECT

EXPORT RISE WITH NAFTA

MEMPHIS - Cotton growers are looking forward to much higher exports under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Much of the cotton will be going to Mexico, where exports almost quadrupled in the last two years without the Nafta, said Neely Mallory, National Cotton Council president.

"We have established a solid base for growth as economic expansion stimulates greater demand in Mexico," Mr. Mallory said.

In terms of cotton consumption, Mexican consumers annually use about 3 pounds less a person than the world average.

The average Mexican uses about 5 pounds of cotton a year, Mr. Mallory said, while the average American consumer uses about 32 pounds.

The cotton industry backed the Nafta.

PETROCHEMICAL COMPLEX

TO OPEN SOON IN IRAN

LONDON - Iran's $1.94 billion Arak petrochemical complex, located in the central province, will come onstream next week, the daily newspaper Hamshahri said Monday.

The 550,000-metric-ton-a-year complex will eventually have 14 units, the report said.

The first eight units will begin operations next week while the remaining six are yet to be installed.

The report added that the petrochemicals produced by the complex will be used to produce plastic utensils, tires, synthetic materials, industrial equipment, toys, and detergents.

Sources within the National Iranian Oil Corp. said the Arak crude oil refinery, which started up earlier this year, was operating at a rate of 150,000 b/d. Part of the refinery's output will be feedstock for the petrochemicals plan the sources said.

MAGMA WORKER DIES

IN ORE CAR ACCIDENT

SAN MANUEL, Ariz. - A Magma Copper Co. worker was killed Friday when he suffered internal injuries when he was caught between a derailed ore car and a tunnel wall in the San Manuel underground mine, the company said.

Antonio Martinez, 44, a member of an ore train loading crew, died after being transported to a clinic in San Manuel, company spokesman Richard Johnson said in Tucson, Ariz.

The accident occurred shortly before 5 a.m. as Mr. Martinez tried to rerail the ore car, the company said. Mr. Johnson said he did not know if the car was loaded with ore or how Martinez had attempted to rerail it.

The state Mine Inspector's Office and the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration were notified and would investigate, Mr. Johnson said.

PAINTERS' LEAD LEVEL

SHOWN TO BE LOW

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - A recent study found the level of lead in house painters' blood throughout North Carolina far below the hazardous level established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The study was conducted at Wake Forest University's Bowman Gray School of Medicine here.

Painting contractors are concerned about new OSHA regulations that require lead protection and testing for house painters. The contractors say the regulations add considerably to the cost of repainting a house built before 1978, the year lead paint was banned.

OSHA requires that an employee's lead concentration in the blood be below 40 micrograms per deciliter of blood. In the Bowman Gray study, the average lead level was 7.8 micrograms and no blood sample exceeded the OSHA level.

RTZ UNIT TO EXPAND

UTAH COPPER FACILITY

LONDON - U.K. mining group RTZ PLC subsidiary Kennecott Corp. has announced a $500 million expansion and upgrading project at its Utah Copper tailings operations - part of the Bingham Canyon copper complex - in the United States.

The project will cover approximately 4,100 acres to the north of the existing facility and is designed to store all future copper-ore tailings from Bingham Canyon.

Construction of the expansion and upgrade is set to begin in 1994, with completion scheduled in 1998.

The Bingham Canyon Copper complex produced 982,000 metric tons of copper

concentrates in 1992, while output of contained copper totaled 288,700 metric tons and refined copper 137,700 metric tons.