History of ION-MIN® Premium Montmorillonite Clays

In the 1940’s, Harries and Madeline Hebbard settled in Brawley, California near the Colorado River Delta Region,where ION-MIN® was discovered.

natural clay
Feather River Project
natural rock clay

Harries had returned from service in WWII looking for work to build a new life. Prior to and during the war, his family acquired many small parcels and ended up putting together a rather large 4 square mile block of land.

The hope was to try to bring in water and farm it. The “Feather River Project” was a Government project that was to bring water to this isolated and arid area for agricultural use. When the project failed to bring in the water to the parcel they owned, survival for the Hebbard family became an issue of great concern. The family had invested their life savings in this property.
land for grazing
Because of the economy after the war, money was hard to come by. One option to make a few dollars was lease out some of the land for grazing rights to local farms and ranchers who placed their cattle and other animals there to feed.

Harries would make daily ventures in his WWII surplus jeep over the large expanse of desert land keeping an eye on things and to see that the animals were OK. Each day, when his drive ended, he found the animals congregating in a small 25 acre section of the property. Harries noticed they would nip at the ground, below the sparse brush that grew there and they would roll in it if they had suffered any injuries like open sores or cuts. He wondered what caused them to come to this small part of the property. He then noticed that many animals were eating the earth. There was no water source so their actions added to the mystery. After much thought, Harries realized that both domestic and wild animals came there because the ground contained an incredible nutrient source.
experiment on animals

It was like nothing Harries had seen anywhere else so he contacted a well known nutritionist, Neva Jensen, who then took soil samples to her college friend, Dr. Valerie Hunt, at UCLA, in Los Angeles, California and had them analyzed.
experiment on soil samples

Harries also took samples to Dr. Benjamin Ershoff at the University of Southern California for further studies and to Cal. Tech University in Pasadena, California. Harries was told, “There is something incredible and special about your clay”. It was found to possess certain unusual beneficial health promoting properties.

raw clay
The laboratory tests revealed that the earth deposit on the Hebbard’s parcel was a Premium Montmorillonite Clay that contained many ultra-fine grained mineral rich nutrients in the correct proportion all with a high negative ionic charge.

1950’s – Harries applied for and received several Government protected patents for mining rights to the clay deposit. The Hebbard’s began to assemble mining, equipment and began to process, package and sell the Premium Montmorillonite clay located at the new mine site. They named it, ION-MIN®. Pictured on the right is the original screen used by Harries in processing the clay.

The initial market was local dairy farmers. ION-MIN® was added to animal feed as a mineral supplement. The young animals thrived. They gained weight while at the same time, ate less. The milk quality improved significantly which providing higher quality butter fat content. The farmers benefited by increasing their earnings.

ion-min food to horses
ion-min food to animals
ion-min food increases profit
It seemed all the different farm animals thrived as a result of ingesting this unique rare form of mineral rich clay. The clay product line expanded to other markets including human dietary supplements in the forms of powder, tablets and caplets over the next several decades

During the 1960’s, the Hebbards began to work the land with the help of Harries’ nephew, Don Crawford. Don assisted Harries with the manufacturing process. ION-MIN® was distributed by various companies to many markets in Southern California.

During this time, Ray Kong, Founder and current CEO of California Earth Minerals and his school friend, Don Crawford began visiting the Hebbards. They would camp, ride motorcycles and hunt birds together. During these visits, Ray was introduced to ION-MIN and he began his daily use of the clay, which continues to the present day.
ion-min food improve health
ion-min food for astronots
Also during this time period, (N.A.S.A.) became interested in some of the beneficial health related effects of the clay mainly for the calcium content for the newly formed Astronaut program. Based on the results of the many credible studies of ION-MIN®, N.A.S.A. commissioned their study, and discovered this Premium Montmorillonite Clay could reverse some of the accelerated bone loss Astronauts were beginning to suffer from extended times spent in zero gravity. Other studies involving ION-MIN’s anti-bacterial properties, the benefits for trout health and health enhancements for chickens and their eggs by other highly respected researchers followed this study.

red blood cells
fish health
hen health

1970 – 1986 – Madeline Hebbard passed away and Harries’ health started to fail shortly thereafter and he passed away in 1986 joining his bride of many years for eternity. Don and Alicia Crawford were instrumental in caring for Harries who suffered many debilitating illnesses during his last years.

Prior to Harries’ passing, there were many venture capitalist stock schemes and con artist scams who tried to persuade Harries and Madeline to transfer the property into their hands, there were many business arrangements offered to the Hebbards but would have only benefitted the hucksters. They held out hope to develop and market ION-MIN edible minerals themselves.

marketing plan for ION-MIN
1986 – 1996 – After Harries death, the property was deeded to Don and Alicia Crawford. They were not certain how to realize the full potential of the land. As a result, they approached Ray Kong for advice. Ray was a successful businessman and had the experience to help. Together, the three of them, created a marketing plan. Their plan was to open channels for ION-MIN so it could be available to benefit all living things and the environment.
1997 – Present - California Earth Minerals was formed by Ray Kong, and incorporated in California to give life to the plans of the three friends. . Under Mr. Kong’s guidance, careful attention to detail and his astute business acumen the business grew in spite of extremely tough times. Today, ION-MIN Premium Montmorillonite Clay now delivers health promoting benefits to thousands of people, worldwide.

From one single application California Earth Minerals has grown the brand into eight different names under the ION-MIN umbrella. Adding new clays and penetrating new markets, This Corporation, and Ray Kong are being recognized as the driving forces behind the edible clay movement in the U.S.A. and are respected for their dedication, innovation and advocacy of an unusual, but highly effective path to a natural health balance. Though clay has been used as a dietary supplement since Grecian times, natural health advocates in the United
States owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Ray Kong, Don and Alicia Crawford and the Hebbards, Harries and Madeline for their persistency and sense of purpose.

“The future for companies that have safe and beneficial products that truly benefit mankind, the environment; including plants and animals, should have a prominent business place for all of society” This is California Earth Minerals mission. The plan is to create business relationships with Medical Practitioners and Resellers with similar goals.
never give up

Don and Alicia Crawford have long since retired and have entrusted Ray to continue to develop their mission. Pictured below, with his back to the camera, typical to his humble nature, is a picture of Mr. Kong, now a septuagenarian, overseeing the latest exploratory drilling expedition looking for the best clay available to mankind.
natural premium
mining site
ION-MIN products