Southeast Idaho is a major phosphate-producing region and phosphate mining has been an important industry here since the turn of the 20th century. 1920s world-wide demand for metals and chemicals
During the 1920s, world-wide demand for metals increased and mining activity boomed.
Phosphate rock suitable for agricultural fertilizer and industry was abundant in the Soda Springs area. In 1919, the Anaconda Copper Mining Company purchased 3,500 acres of phosphate-rich mining claims for $650,000 in the hills northeast of Soda Springs and mining was underway.
Conda Mine supplied a strategic World War II metal
In 1940, in response to the World War II effort the Conda Mine took the national lead in vanadium production. Vanadium is a rare but important by-product of manufacturing phosphate fertilizer that is added to steel to make high-grade armor, bullets, and bombs.
A new operator: J.R. Simplot Company
In 1959, Idaho's J.R. Simply Co. took over the open-pit phosphate mining at Conda in a joint venture agreement with Anaconda, and a year later Simplot purchased the plant. Fewer employees were required and the population at Conda dwindled. In 1984, phosphate mining at Conda ceased.