Searles Valley Historical Society

On December 27, 1967, Kerr-McGee Corporation purchased all of American Potash & Chemical
Corporation.  This included all of the American Potash operations in Searles Valley.  Then, on
October 10, 1974, Kerr-McGee purchased all of the Searles Valley holdings of Stauffer Chemical
Company, principally, the Westend Plant and associated mineral leases.

Next, on December 1, 1990, all of the Searles Valley holdings of Kerr-McGee were sold to D. George
Harris, a financier headquartered in New York City.  Mr. Harris renamed the Searles Valley
operations North American Chemical Corporation.  Next, IMC Global, a company with main offices
in Chicago purchased all of North American Chemical Corporation and renamed the business IMC
Chemicals, Inc.  Shortly after this purchase, IMC Global announced that IMC Chemicals was for
sale but a sale was not concluded until March 18, 2004.  This sale was to Sun Capital LLC.
With the sale, the business was renamed once again, this time as Searles Valley Minerals Corporation.
Mr. Dean McGee studied Searles Dry Lake as a geology student in college.  What he learned there about the fabulous wealth contained in the deposit lead him to purchase all of American Potash & Chemical Corporation, including all of their Searles Valley operations, when it was put up for sale.  Under the leadership of Mr. McGee, all of the mineral resources were consolidated under one owner when he purchased both the Westend Plant from Stauffer Chemical Company and the mineral leases of Arco Chemical Company.  Mr. McGee was also the driving force behind the construction of the Argus Plant.
McGee Tower is the world headquarters of Kerr-McGee Corporation.  This picture was taken shortly after it opened in 1975.

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Searles Valley Historical Society
P. O. Box 966
Trona, CA   93592-0966
Phone (760) 372-5356


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