Bentonite Performance Materials
“Bentonite Performance Minerals LLC (BPM) began its history in 1928 near Osage, Wyoming as the Kansas City Silica Company, the first modern producer of sodium montmorillonite in Wyoming. BPM, then known as Baroid Division, National Lead Company, (Baroid) purchased the plant and reserves from Kansas City Silica Company in 1936. The purchase of the F. E. Schundler Bentonite Corporation in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, in 1947, initiated the construction of a new processing plant in Colony, Wyoming. Schundler’s large reserves of high quality bentonite placed BPM in the enviable position of having excellent quantity and quality reserves in Wyoming – a position maintained to this day.
In 1973, BPM closed its Osage mill and mines due to the low quality of the remaining reserves, too low in fact to meet the high expectations of BPM and its customers.
The next change came in 1981 when BPM brought its $21 million Lovell, Wyoming, bentonite facility on line during a period of peak demand for Wyoming bentonite (averaging 4.5 million tons annually). The years from 1982 to 1987 saw the Wyoming bentonite market dwindle to only 2 million to 2.7 million tons annually, causing BPM to temporarily close its Lovell facility in 1987. BPM reopened the facility in 1995 to meet demand for its products, even though overall demand was significantly below the world requirements encountered in the early 1980’s.
During 1990, BPM evolved as an independent company. In an effort to allow investors to identify market sectors and service, a new company called Tremont, with wholly owned subsidiaries, Bentonite Corporation (now known as Bentonite Performance Minerals LLC) and Timet, one of the world’s largest integrated suppliers of titanium metal, was created.
In 1993, Tremont restructured its business through the sale of Bentonite Corporation to Baroid Drilling Fluids, Inc. (Baroid). In 1994, Bentonite Corporation and its parent, Baroid Drilling Fluids, Inc. were acquired by Dresser Industries, Inc. Finally in 1998, Dresser Industries was acquired by Halliburton, combining the strengths of the two organizations and bringing BPM into the Halliburton family of companies. BPM became a third tier subsidiary of Halliburton in December 2003 as Bentonite Performance Minerals LLC.
Into the Future…
Bentonite Performance Minerals LLC has sought a diversified market position to offer stability not only to the company but to its customers as well. Today, BPM enjoys double-digit market shares in major end use categories of Wyoming bentonite. These categories are Environmental/Construction, Pet Absorbents, Iron Ore Pelletizing and Oil Field Services. BPM is committed to new markets, products and technology. While our business success is firmly rooted in the historical markets for our product which form a firm basis for sustainability, much of our future growth will come from products we do not make today. This balanced business approach assures that as BPM looks to the future, you will be assured of the quality, service, reliability and integrity that began over 80 years ago.”
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Bentonite Performance Materials