Mineral Resources in Missouri
Created by
Lacey Dreyer
This webpage was created for GO 336, Mineralogy (Fall 2004)
Earth Science Department at Emporia State University


Image taken from:
http://www.equineestates.com/library/United_States/missouri.htm
 


Image produced using Arc/View 8.3.



Introduction

I am not from Missouri but several of my classes have given me an awareness and appreciation for the natural resources found there.  I am acquainted with the minerals located in Missouri, especially in Wright County.  My aunt and uncle have a farm located there and I have spent a lot of time on the farm observing what natural resources are there.  For years, I have found all types of rocks and minerals and had no idea what they were until I started taking classes in hand specimen petrology, mineralogy and field geology.  I am hoping that this webpage will help you and me to understand what some of these minerals are.  The minerals listed below are located in various counties throughout Missouri.  You can find minerals anywhere from fields on farms to caves and mines.  So take time to look around and notice all the wonderful minerals Missouri has to offer.

Table of Contents
Barite
Hematite
Calcite
Limonite
Carnotite
Marcasite
Dolomite
Metatorbernite
Feldspar
Mica
Galena
Pyrite
Geodes
Quartz
Gold
Silver
Gypsum
Sphalerite



Barite

Barite is a mineral that can be found in several different colors.  The colors can be white, gray, shades of yellow, brown, red and blue with a streak of white.  It may also be colorless.  On the Mohs hardness scale it ranges from a 3 to 3.5 and has a specific gravity of 4.3 to 4.6.  Barite is in the orthorhombic crystal system.

Barite is found in great abundance in Jefferson and Washington counties.  This area accounts for 80% of barite production in Missouri (Keller).  Other locations that barite is found in include Texas, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan, and Cole counties.  In 1941 Missouri produced barite that had a value over $1,300,000 and was 40% of the total barite production in the United States (Keller).  Keller also stated in his book that barite can be used "as a filler in rubber, paper, oil cloth, textiles and leather".


Image taken from:
http://minerals-n-more.com/Barite_Info.html

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Calcite

Calcite has several different colors that range from white to pale shades of gray, yellow to red, green to blue and brown or black when impure.  In addiation it can be colorless.  Calcite has a value of 3 on Mohs hardness scale and has a specific gravity of 2.7.  Calcite is transparent to translucent and can be fluorescent (Chesterman).  The crystal system of calcite is hexagonal.  One of the most interesting properties of calcite is its birefringence.  If a calcite crystal is held over a piece of paper with words on it, the words will be doubled.  This is caused when a ray of light enters the crystal and the ray splits.  Now, the rays are traveling at different speeds and bent at different angles. Light is slowed in this denser than air medium. This process is called double refraction and is visible as a doubling effect of objects that are viewed through the calcite crystal. (Amethyst Galleries).

Calcite is one of the most amazing minerals found on Earth.  It comprises about 4%, by weight, of the Earth's crust (Amethyst Galleries).  It is an essential mineral in limestone.  Joplin, Missouri located in Jasper county has produced some strikingly beautiful calcite crystals.


Image taken from:
http://geology.csustan.edu/Minerals/calcite.htm

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Carnotite

The color of carnotite ranges in various shades of yellow.  It can be bright yellow, lemon yellow or greenish yellow and the streak is also yellow.  On the Mohs hardness scale carnotite is a 2 and the specific gravity ranges from 4 to 5.  Carnotite is in the monoclinic crystal system.

Carnotite is a rare mineral which usually occurs in earthy masses.  This mineral happens to be the main source of uranium and radium.  A ton of this can yield about 10 pounds of uranium oxide (Verrill).  Carnotite is found in Missouri, but has not been mined commercially because it is not economical possible.  The location of carnotite in Missouri is near St. Genevieve county within cracks in the limestone.  It can also be found north of the Missouri River in small amounts (Keller).


Image taken from:
http://webmineral.com/data/Carnotite.shtml

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Dolomite

Dolomite is a calcium magnesium carbonate that can sometimes contain minor amounts of manganese and iron.  The color varies and can be found as white, colorless, pink, gray, green, brown and black.  The streak of dolomite is white.  It ranges from 3.5 to 4 on the Mohs hardness scale and has a specific gravity of 2.8.  It has a hexagonal crystal system.

Dolomite occurs in Missouri in the Joplin mining district located in Jasper county.  It is found in dolomitic limestone, veins, and cavity fillings within rocks.  It can also be found in other parts of southern Missouri (Keller).


Image taken from:
http://www.minerali.it/minerali2/d/dolomite.htm

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Feldspar

Feldspar is a common name for several minerals, but all are very similar.  The range of colors is great and it sometime shows a play of colors.  The colors are white, gray, green, bluish and reddish.  In addition feldspars can also be colorless.  All the feldspars have a common streak of white.  On the Mohs hardness scale the feldspars are a 6 and have a specific gravity of 2.62 to 2.76.  The crystal system for this group of minerals is the triclinic system.

Feldspar is the most abundant mineral in granite and it usually controls the color of a rock.  Feldspars are located all over Missouri especially in areas that have a lot of granite (Keller).


Image taken from:
http://www.em.gov.bc.ca/Mining/geolsurv/Publications/InfoCirc/IC1987-5/rockmin.htm

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Galena

Galena is among one of the most popular minerals for anyone to have.  The name galena comes from the Latin word "galena" which means lead ore.  The color of this mineral is dark gray to silver.  Galena streaks dark gray, almost the color of pencil lead.  On the Mohs hardness scale, galena is a 2.5 and has a specific gravity of 7.4 to 7.6.

Galena is found in cavity fillings of limestone.  In 1941 Missouri produced over $15,000,000 of the lead in the world.  It came from Flat River, Fredericktown, Joplin and central Missouri (Keller).

For more information about the galena mining in Missouri visit Susie Aber's webpage.
www.emporia.edu/earthsci/outreach/leadmine.htm


Image taken from:
http://geology.csupomona.edu/alert/mineral/galena.htm

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Geodes

Geodes are usually a hollow mass which contain minerals such as quartz.  They are formed by water that has become trapped in a rock or in crevices of rocks (Verrill).  Missouri geodes vary in size and can be found anywhere from fields to caves and mines.  They are really common in several locations in northeast Missouri.  Geodes have no values or use other than for ornamental purposes (Keller).  The only way to positively identify that a round rock is a geode, is to break or cut it in half and view its contents.


Image taken from:
http://www.crystalcaves.com.au/crystal.htm

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Gold

Gold is a native element and is sometimes found with silver, copper and iron.  The color should be apparent.  It is any shade of yellow.  Gold will streak a gold-yellow color.  On the Mohs hardness scale gold is 2.5 to 3 and has a specific gravity of 15.9 to 19.3.  Gold is in the isometric crystal system and is very malleable which makes it easy to work with.

Gold is not easily found in Missouri.  It is only found in very small quantities which were carried by and deposited by glaciers.  Miners and geologist have studied Missouri and have not found any promise of a big gold deposit (Keller).  In other words, do not spend all your time looking for gold in Missouri.


Image taken from:
http://www.tmm.utexas.edu/npl/mineralogy/Blowups/Native_gold_quartz.htm

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Gypsum

Gypsum has a variety of colors such as white, gray, yellow, red and brown and has a white streak.  In addition it can be colorless.  The hardness of gypsum is 1.5 to 2 on the Mohs hardness scale and it has a specific gravity of 2.3 to 2.4.  Gypsum is placed in the monoclinic crystal system.

Gypsum in Missouri has been found as a secondary formation in rocks.  It is not a commercially valuable mineral of the state.  Gypsum's main use is in the manufacturing of plaster of paris (Keller).


Image taken from:
http://www.gc.maricopa.edu/earthsci/imagearchive/chemical1.htm

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Hematite

Hematite is an iron rich oxide which causes the different colors for hematite.  The colors can range from steel-grey, red, reddish brown and black.  The best way to tell hematite from other minerals is by its streak.  The streak will be a dark red or blood red.  Hematite ranges from 5 to 6 on Mohs hardness scale and it has a specific gravity that ranges from 4.9 to 5.3.  Hematite is in the hexagonal crystal system.

Hematite in Missouri is responsible for the red coloring in the soils, iron rust, reddish creek water and anything natural in Missouri that is a reddish color.  Hematite is found at Iron Mountain and Pilot Knob mining districts located in Iron county.  It is also found in sink hole mines and pits in south central Missouri (Keller).


Photo by Patrick Laird ©
Image taken from:
www.emporia.edu/earthsci/amber/go336/laird/physical.html

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Limonite

Limonite is a mixture of hydrous iron oxides.  The colors associated with limonite are yellow or brown and it streaks yellowish brown.  On the Mohs hardness scale limonite ranges from 4 to 5.5 and has a specific gravity that ranges from 2.7 to 4.3.  Limonite is a pseudormophous mineral (Chesterman).

This mineral is found in southeastern Missouri and is usually found in large boulders, discontinuous and irregular lenses or beds.  It really has no commercial value unless the mineral is very pure, but most limonite in Missouri is not pure (Keller).


Image taken from:
http://www.csmate.colostate.edu/cltw/cohortpages/viney/limonite.html

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Marcasite

Marcasite is a pale brass yellow to almost white in color and has a dark greenish to brownish streak.  On Mohs hardness scale marcasite ranges from 6 to 6.5 and has a specific gravity of 4.8.  Marcasite is in the orthorhombic crystal system.  Marcasite can sometimes confused with pyrite (Chesterman).

Marcasite can be found all over Missouri especially in the metal mining districts such as Iron Mountain and Pilot Knob located in Iron county.  Several mines have been developed in old sink hole deposits to extract this mineral (Keller).


Image taken from:
http://www.uwrf.edu/~wc01/marcasite.htm

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Metatorbernite

It has a color that is a pale apple green.  This mineral is also soft.  Metatorbernite is a uranium mineral and has been found in Missouri in paper thin cracks in clay deposits (Keller).  Little information is known about this mineral in Missouri.


Image taken from:
http://www.edenminerals.com/Europe.htm

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Mica

Mica is a general name for the minerals that are in this group.  These minerals are sheet silicates.  The micas are varied in color.  Some are light and others are dark.  These minerals all have a low hardness of 2 to 2.5 and the specific gravity ranges from 2.7 to 3.0.  They are an important mineral to metamorphic and igneous rocks (Chesterman).

Micas occur in small grains in igneous rocks and some sandstone in Missouri (Keller).


Image taken from:
http://mineral.galleries.com/minerals/silicate/biotite/biotite.htm

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Pyrite

Pyrite is pale yellow to brass yellow in color and streaks a greenish black color.  On the Mohs hardness scale, pyrite is 6 to 6.5 and has a specific gravity of 4.9.  Pyrite is in the isometric crystal system.  This mineral can also be confused with marcasite (Chesterman).

Pyrite is sometimes called "fools gold" because it looks a lot like gold.  Most people would not know the difference if they came across a piece of this mineral.  It occurs in the metal mining districts of Missouri and south central Missouri (Keller).


Image taken from:
http://www.minerals.net/mineral/sulfides/pyrite/pyrite5.htm

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Quartz

Quartz is a common mineral and has a variety of colors.  Each color has its own name associated with it such as amethyst which is a purple color.  Smoky quartz refers to a brown color and rose quartz is a pink color of quartz.  Quartz has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs hardness scale and has a specific gravity of 2.65.  This mineral is in the hexagonal crystal system.

Quartz is found all over Missouri in sandstones (Keller).


Image taken from:
http://www.gggems.com/smoky_quartz_crystal.htm

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Silver

Silver is a native element often found with much gold or mercury.  The color of this mineral is silver-white and has a silver white streak.  It has a hardness of 2.5 to 3 on Mohs hardness scale and has a specific gravity of 10.1 to 11.1.  Silver is in they isometric crystal system.  This mineral is a very malleable and can be easily worked with (Chesterman).

Silver has been found in the silver mines area in Madison county.  It is also found in southeastern Missouri in the galena mines.  Geologist have not found any additional deposits of silver in Missouri (Keller).


Image taken from:
http://www.thamesvalleyminerals.com/minerals.asp?id=947

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Sphalerite

This mineral is a zinc sulfide and is found with some iron, manganese and cadmium.  The color of this mineral can be yellow, brown, red, green and black.  Sphalerite has a light brown streak.  On the Mohs hardness scale it ranges from 3.5 to 4 and has a specific gravity of 3.9.  This mineral can be fluorescent at times (Chesterman).

People from Missouri call this mineral other names such as Jack, Rosin Jack, Black Jack, Ruby Jack just to name a few.  Sphalerite occurs in the mining districts of southwest Missouri.  Small amounts have even been found  north of the Missouri River (Keller).


Image taken from:
http://www.pennminerals.com/museum.htm

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References: Return to Top or back to GO336 Mineralogy Student projects.


Created by Lacey Dreyer on November 11, 2004.
Last Update: November 20, 2004
If you have any comments please fill feel to email me, dreyer_lacey@stumail.emporia.edu..
Copyright 2004 © Lacey Dreyer.  All rights reserved.