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News Release, Kansas Geological Survey, May 10, 1995

New Minerals Map Available

LAWRENCE--Every year Kansas produces more than $400 million worth of non-fuel minerals, everything from crushed rock to volcanic ash.

Locations of the mines that produce those minerals are shown on a new map available from the Kansas Geological Survey, based at the University of Kansas.

The majority of the mines in Kansas produce either crushed limestone or sand and gravel. Sand and gravel operations are more common in western Kansas; in the eastern part of the state they are mostly limited to river channels. Crushed stone plants are primarily located in eastern Kansas.

"Crushed limestone is used mainly for roads, both as gravel and in concrete and asphalt," said Survey scientist David Grisafe, one of the map's authors. "Sand and gravel has a variety of uses, particularly in the construction business in making concrete."

Some of the state's limestone is also used in building. Most of the building-stone quarries are in northeastern Kansas or near the Flint Hills communities of Cottonwood Falls, St. Mary's, and Winfield.

Salt is mined at eight locations in the state, mostly near the central Kansas towns of Hutchinson and Lyons, where salt is taken from underground mines that 600 to 1000 feet deep.

"Salt production is currently worth about $100 million annually to the economy of Kansas," said Grisafe. "Salt is used in everything from de-icing roads to chemical manufacturing, and one mine in Hutchinson uses the mined-out space to store records and other archive materials."

The map also shows the location of some of the state's lesser-known mines. Gypsum is mined in Barber and in Marshall counties. Clay and shale are taken from pits in central and southeastern Kansas and used to make bricks, clay pipe, and other products. Crushed quartzite, a form of sandstone that has been tightly cemented together, is quarried near Lincoln in Ellsworth County.

Two small operations in Norton County and Jewell County, both in northern Kansas, mine volcanic ash, a dusty, glass-like powder that was deposited in Kansas 500,000 to two million years ago when volcanoes exploded to the west. That ash is used as an abrasive in cleansers and for other industrial uses.

The map is drawn in color at a scale of 1:1,000,000 so that one inch on the map equals about 15 miles of actual distance. The map measures 13 inches by 26 inches, or slightly smaller than the state highway map.

Copies of the map, Non-fuel Industrial Minerals of Kansas, are available from the Kansas Geological Survey, West Campus, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66047. The cost is $15.00, plus $4.00 for handling and shipping. Kansas residents should add 6.9% sales tax.

For more information, contact Rex Buchanan, (785) 864-3965

Kansas Geological Survey, Publications and Public Affairs