Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The quarryman pitcher

Here's an oddity: journeyman pitcher Matt White could be the first billionaire baseball player.

But not from baseball.

He bought 50 acres from an elderly aunt a few years ago out in Western Massachusetts for $1000/acre. The land was unimproved and auntie needed money to pay for a nursing home. So White decided to help her out.

While clearing land to build a house, he discovered "stone ledges" under the land. A survey resulted in "A geologist estimat[ing] there were 24 million tons of the stone on his land. The stone [sells] for upward of $100 per ton, meaning there's well over $2 billion worth of material used for sidewalks, patios and the like." If mining and processing costs are $50 per ton, White stumbled onto the American fantasy -- a billion-dollar windfall from an elderly relative. Even if White gets a 1/8 royalty (a standard figure in the oil-and-gas industry) on mining a fraction of the tonnage (say 1/3 or 8,000,000 tons), that's $100,000,000 and possibly more.


The Monk needs some relatives with rural land.

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