Arkansas Critical Mineral Fact Sheet
Figure 1. Bauxite production in Arkansas from 1899 to 1981. Data not available after 1981.
Curve smothed by using a 5-year moving avarage.1
- Howard, J.M., Colton, G.W., and Prior, W.L., eds., 1997, Mineral, fossil-fuel, and water resources of Arkansas: Arkansas Geological Commission Bulletin 24
References: Arkansas Geological Survey Staff, 1942, Mineral Resources of Montgomery, Garland, Saline, and Pulaski Counties, Arkansas Geological Survey County Mineral Report 3, 101p. Comstock, T.B., 1888, A preliminary examination of the geology of western-central Arkansas, with especial reference to gold and silver: Arkansas Geological Survey Annual Report for 1888, v. 1, pt. 2, 320p. Howard, J.M., et al., 1997, Mineral, fossil fuel, and water resources of Arkansas, Arkansas Geological Commission Bulletin 24, 115 p. O’Connor, W.K., White, J.C., and Turner, P.C., 1992, Geology and mineral processing of manganese deposits from the west-central Arkansas district: Mining Engineering, v.44, p. 1361-1368. Sterling P.J., Stone, C.G., and Renfroe, C.A., 1962, An occurrence of violarite and millerite in calcite veins, Benton County, Arkansas: Economic Geology, v. 57, no. 3, p. 453-455. Sterling, P.J., Stone, C.G., 19961, Nickel occurrences in soapstone deposits, Saline County, Arkansas, Economic Geology: v.56, no. 1, p. 100-110. Stroud, R.B., et al., 1969, Mineral resources and industries of Arkansas, Washington, U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Mines Bulletin 645, 418p.
We also have information on phosphate deposits occurring in Searcy and Van Buren Counties. These investigations involved core drilling and analyses for phosphate content. Stratigraphic logs and gamma ray logs were performed for each drill hole where possible. Mining of phosphate-rich rock in Van Buren County took place following these investigations for a short time in 1963. Only a few thousand tons of material was mined during this time. No mining has taken place on the phosphate deposit in Searcy County. References are: Phase I: Core-drilling project – Peyton Creek Phosphate Area, Searcy-Van Buren Counties, Arkansas, 1964, by Arkansas Geological Commission, Miscellaneous Publication 9, 39p., 1 fig., 25 logs; and Phase II: Core-drilling project – Peyton Creek Phosphate Area, Searcy-Van Buren Counties, Arkansas, 1965, by Arkansas Geological Commission, Miscellaneous Publication 10, 34p., 2 figs., 22 logs.
The north Arkansas district includes Boone, Marion, Newton, Searcy, and parts of Baxter, Stone, Sharp and Lawrence Counties. Boone County contains more than 30 zinc-lead mines and/or prospects that are spread across three districts: Harrison, Zinc and West Sugarloaf-Malden Creek. Production was from open cuts, adits and shafts. Zinc deposits have been mined from the Cotter, Powell, Everton and Boone Formations. An estimated 9,800 tons of free zinc ore and zinc concentrates were produced. Mining of zinc ore was active until the 1950s in Boone County. Lead ore was first mined in 1870 in Marion County, followed by zinc ore in 1880. Mining lead/zinc ores was most active at 130 mines and/or prospects in the counties' 11 districts, with major activity occurring in 1900-1907, 1912-1918, 1925-1929, and 1930s to 1945. Districts include the Tomahawk, Maumee-Water Creek, Panther Creek-Ingram Creek, Rush Creek, Cedar Creek-Boat Creek-CPW Creek, Warner Creek-Halls Mountain, Greasy Creek-Hampton Creek-Clear Creek, Zinc, Dodd City, Short Mountain, Georges Creek-Jimmie Creek and Big Music Creek-Sister Creek. Estimated production for Marion County is 65,000 tons of zinc carbonate and zinc and lead sulfides. Production came from open cuts and shafts in the Boone and Everton Formations in areas where structural deformation is present. Copper minerals, primarily azurite and malachite, are associated with the lead/zinc deposits in the county. Mining in this county was ended in 1962. In Newton County, six mining districts exist in the north half of the county: the Ponca-Boxley District, Little Buffalo River District, Upper Cave Creek District, Mount Hersey-Lower Cave Creek District, Mill Creek District and Davis Creek-Hurricane Branch District. Ore bodies are associated with fault and fracture systems in the Boone and Everton Formations and the Batesville Sandstone in the county. Newton County had production of 1,700 tons of sphalerite concentrates, 7,000 tons of free and concentrated zinc carbonate and silicate, and 2,800 tons of galena. Mining occurred in fault zones of the Everton and Boone Formations was accomplished by open cut and shafts and concluded by 1918. Searcy County had production of about 12,500 tons of free milling carbonate and sulfide ores, and mixed carbonates. Mining began in about 1900 and continued sporadically until the 1950s. Small amounts of cadmium and copper are usually associated with the zinc. E.T. McKnight (1935) described 28 mines and prospects in this county. In Baxter County, deposits occur in the Everton and Cotter Formations. A total of about 500 tons were mined from open cuts and shafts during WWI. Mine site locations are W1/2 sec 1, T19N, R15W, and W1/2 NE1/4 and NE1/4 NW1/4 sec 1, T17N, R14W. Secondary minerals include galena, wulfenite and cerussite. In Stone County, an occurrence of zinc mineralization in NE1/4 sec 2, T15N, R11W is associated with the Everton Formation. No production is recorded from this county. In Sharp County, sphalerite and smithsonite were mined from a district extending from Lawrence County. Total production from this district was about 2,000 tons. Three deposits, NE1/4 SW1/4 sec 16, T16N, R4W; NW1/4 sec 27, T16N, R4W; and SE1/4 NW1/4 sec 10, T15N, R4W were explored by core drilling in the 1950s. No significant ore body was discovered during this study. In Lawrence County, deposits of sphalerite and smithsonite occurred in an eight-mile wide district extending southwest from south of Black Rock into Sharp County. Zinc mining started in 1857 or 1858 and 25 or more sites were prospected or mined, which produced 2,000 tons of 80% smithsonite, and 20% sphalerite. Mines were either open cuts or shafts. Important mine locations are NW1/4 NE1/4 sec 29, T17N, R1W; NW1/4 sec 31, T17N, R1W; NE1/4 sec 19, T16N, R2W; SW1/4 SW1/4 sec 29, T17N, R3W; NW1/4 SW1/4 sec 7, T16N, R2W; SE1/4 sec 22, T17N, R3W; SE1/4 sec 9, T17N, R2W. The Ouachita Mountains’ west-central mineralized belt includes all or part of Pulaski, Saline, Hot Spring, Montgomery, Polk, Howard, and Sevier Counties. In Pulaski County, sphalerite was produced at the Kellogg mine between 1840 and 1940. Associated minerals included galena, chalcopyrite, tetrahedrite, and freibergite (tetrahedrite with 3 to 30% silver). Mine workings extended 1,125 feet down a 75o incline following a fault trace in the Jackfork Formation. In Saline County, zinc ore was found in float rocks in sec 26, T1N, R16W. There is not enough data to evaluate this site. Hot Spring County has one site where lead, zinc, and copper have been mined in SE1/4 NW1/4 sec 31, T4S, R21W. Discovered in the 1890s, five shafts were sunk into a fault zone. Ore was mined from three quartz veins in the Stanley Formation from drifts and stopes at the 82 and 110-foot levels. Associated minerals included galena, pyrite, chalcopyrite, silver, and gold. There is insufficient data to evaluate this site. Montgomery County has no record of production of zinc. Lead, zinc, and silver occurs in small quantities at the Montezuma Mine, Walnut Mine, Waterloo Mine, and Minnesota Mine. Silver and traces of gold were found in some specimens. In Polk County, three thin veins of galena with crystalline quartz and nodules of galena occurs with pyrite and sphalerite in the SE1/4 SE1/4 sec 24, T1S, R29W. Although there is no record of zinc production in this county, 1,500 pounds of galena were produced in 1952 from quartz veinlets. In Howard County, the faulted Jackfork Formation hosts small quantities of zinc and lead at the Buzbee prospect in sec 13, T7S, R29W. No production records exist for zinc in this county. In Sevier County, lead and zinc were mined from four sites. The Davis Mine, NW1/4 sec 10, T7S, R32W, was opened in 1843 and operated intermittently until 1916. The Bellah Mine (SW1/4 sec 27, T7S, R32W), Copper King prospect (W1/2 sec 8, T7S, R32W), and the New Discovery prospect (SE1/4 sec 6, T7S, R30W) leave no record of production. All combined, the four mines are estimated to have produced a few thousand tons of ore. From these mine sites, abundant quartz veins in faulted and fractured Stanley Formation sandstones yielded sphalerite, galena, chalcopyrite, and calcite, as well as small quantities of azurite, malachite, and smithsonite. Traces of gold and silver were also found in minerals at the Davis Mine. Mining was performed using shafts, drifts, open cuts, and pits. Conservative estimates indicate about 110,000 tons of potential shallow zinc/lead resources. Significant potential exists in north Arkansas for the discovery of lead/zinc mineralization at depths greater than 1,500 feet in the southern extension of the New Viburnum lead district.
References: Branner, J.C., 1892, The zinc and lead region of north Arkansas: Arkansas Geological Survey Annual Report for 1891, v. V, 395p. Caplan, W.M., 1957, Subsurface geology of northwestern Arkansas, Arkansas Geological and Conservation Commission Information Circular 19, 14p., 17 Plates. Caplan, W.M., 1960, Subsurface geology of pre-Everton rocks in northern Arkansas, Arkansas Geological and Conservation Commission Information Circular 21, 17p., 5 Plates. Howard, J.M., et al., 1997, Mineral, fossil fuel, and water resources of Arkansas, Arkansas Geological Commission Bulletin 24, 115 p. Konig, R.H., and Stone, C.G., 1977, Geology of abandoned Kellogg lead-zinc-silver-copper mines, Pulaski County, Arkansas, in Stone, C.G., ed. Symposium on the geology of the Ouachita Mountains, v. 2, Arkansas Geological Commission Miscellaneous Publication 14, p. 5-18. McKnight, E.T., 1935, Zinc and lead deposits of northern Arkansas, US Geological Survey Bulletin 853, 311p., 6 Plates. Miser, H.D. and Purdue, A.H., 1929, Geology of the DeQueen and Caddo Gap quadrangles, Arkansas: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 808, 195p. Stroud, R.B., et al., 1969, Mineral resources and industries of Arkansas, Washington, U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Mines Bulletin 645, 418p.
Figures and Maps
Antimony Critical Minerals Figure (678 KB)
Barite Critical Minerals Figure (686 KB)
Bauxite Critical Minerals Figure (686 KB)
Arkansas Critical Minerals Figure (1.42 MB)
Critical Minerals Figure, Counties (670 KB)
Nickel Critical Minerals Map (626 KB)
Lithium Critical Minerals Figure (692 KB)
Manganese Critical Minerals Figure (682 KB)
Strontium Critical Minerals Figure (678 KB)
Titanium Critical Minerals Figure (682 KB)
Zinc Critical Minerals map (620 KB)