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AGS / Minerals / Metallic / Main


In the past, various metal ores were mined in Arkansas. Since 1990, no ores were mined for their metal content. This listing presents the last year of recorded mining.

Aluminum (1982) Manganese (1959)
Antimony (1947) Mercury (1946)
Copper (1900) Silver (1927)
Gallium (1983) Titanium (1944)
Iron (1965) Vanadium (1990)
Lead (1959) Zinc (1962)
*bauxite for the production of metallic aluminum

All have had a significant role in the state's economy and history. The first metal to be mined was galena, which was used by early pioneers as a source of lead for bullets. The annual production of lead increased markedly during the Civil War. During World War I, lead, zinc, and antimony were produced in Arkansas due to higher metal prices. During World War II, expanded production of aluminum in Arkansas was vital to the military aircraft industry. However, since 1990, no metal has been made from any ore mined in the state. This situation is due to changing world market conditions, the discovery of commercial deposits elsewhere in the world, and increasing labor, energy, and environmental costs in the United States.

A number of other metal-bearing minerals have been reported, but none have been discovered in sufficient quantities to qualify as ores. The metals include gold, molybdenum, nickel, niobium (columbium), the rare earth metals, thorium, and uranium. Further exploration, additional analyses, changing market conditions, and new processing methods may lead industry to mine some of these metals and renew mining of formerly produced metals.

To download the ADEQ Access 2000 database of all permitted operations in Arkansas click here.


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Arkansas Geological Survey
Vardelle Parham Geology Center
3815 West Roosevelt Road
Little Rock, AR 72204
Phone: 501-296-1877 | Fax: 501-663-7360
Business Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00am - 4:30pm

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