In terms of solid and mineral resources, Texas isn’t a pushover among the states in the United States of America. And if you like, you can refer to Texas as the hub of solid minerals in the south-central of the country.
Covering 695,662 km² land area, Texas became the 28th constituent state of the USA in 1845. It is the largest U.S state in terms of land area after Alaska.
Luckily, the big huge land space the country covers is rich, and fertile, contributing hugely to the economic value of Texas.
For instance, it is No. 1 in terms of revenue that is generated from livestock products and No. 2 closely behind California in terms of revenue from agricultural produce.
Apart from revenue from farming, the mineral resources in Texas, a state that was once hit by drought, are incredible and the large deposit of rare gemstones makes Texas not only unique but also a treasured place to behold.
This article explores over 30 solid and mineral resources that are found in Texas and what can be used to expand the economic potential of the state.
Commonest used as a store of value, gold is the most treasured solid mineral and most sought-after metal in the world. It is used as one of the major materials to produce expensive and classic necklaces, chains, jewellery, and other gold-quoted materials.
While there are cryptocurrency evangelists around the world who invest in crypto assets, there are hundreds of other gold enthusiasts who believe investing in gold for the future is like getting financial freedom. This is because of its extremely profitable nature.
As valuable and treasured as this solid mineral is, research shows that gold can be found in more than 10 locations in Texas.
Gold was found in different locations in Texas. For instance, placer gold was said to have been found around El Paso Mountains in 1893, several years after John Goller and his team had no luck in their search.
Places, where gold has been discovered in Texas, include Bonanza Gulch, Guadalupe Mountains, and Presidio.
Why is gold so treasured?
Gold is used for a number of things which include:
- Investment to get a return
- As a store of value because it’s less volatile compared to other assets.
- More than 70% of gold is used to make expensive jewellery every year around the world.
- It is also used for some electronic components.
- It is one of the major materials for making medals and awards. No wonder an Olympic gold medal won by Jesse Owens was auctioned for around $1.46 USD million in 2013. This means Texas is sitting on a treasure.
In the Southeastern part of Texas, there is a large deposit of limestone and they form one of the major sources of crushed stones.
Some of the Texas counties where limestone can be found include Kinney, Hardin, Burnet, Uvalde, Orange, Jefferson and Bexar. However, Uvalde is reputed to hold a large deposit of limestone.
Limestone has many uses, the chief among them are:
- It is very important in steel manufacturing
- It is one of the major materials for paper production
- It is useful for water treatment and purification among others.
Texas’ rocky plateaus are a blessing in the area of crushed stone and the state doesn’t have to outsource materials for concrete and road construction. It has abundant crushed stone.
Crushed stone is useful for making bases for concrete and paving projects, foundations of structures, and driveway bases, according to gra-rock.com
Is amber a gemstone? This is one of the common questions one will most definitely find online because of the process of its formation, indeed, amber is one of the treasured gemstones that can be found in Texas.
One, amber is an organic gemstone that is formed from tree resin which was preserved for several years and turned to stone.
Today, amber is mined and can be found Terlingua Creek, Brewster County, Maverick County, and near Eagle Pass among other counties in Texas.
Historically amber was used for healing and medicinal purposes, sculptures, ceremonial pieces, and even jewellery.
Also known as white sand, silica sand or quartz sand, industrial sand is one of the industrial rock and minerals found in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Aransas Pass, Romayor, and Georgetown among other locations in the state.
It is made up of two major elements silica and oxygen.
In case you’re wondering what white sand is used for, manufacturers of container glass for foods and beverages find it highly useful.
Chalcedony is one of the silica materials and one of the gemstones Texas is blessed with that can be found in Woodward Ranch, Alpine, Brewster County, Texas, USA. Plume agate is also found in this location, according to mindat.org.
Chalcedony is symbolic and historic as it is considered one of the precious stones which is mentioned in the Bible:
“And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;”Kings James Version, Revelation 21:19
Apart from being one of the major materials used for jewellery and crafting small figurines, chalcedony is believed to have some healing power powers including its ability to combat mineral buildup in veins and lessen the effect of dementia and senility.
Amethyst apart from being one of the solid minerals in Texas is associated with many things: color, one of the months of the year, chemical formula, and sodic sign among others.
In medicine, it is called “the all purpose stone” as it is considered a protective stone that can help relieve stress and anxiety in human life.
It is associated with the month of February, a month symbolic of the celebration of love. The purple gemstone can be found in Gillespie County, Lampas County and the old town- site of Oxford in Llano County.
Augite’s lack of presence of chemical properties in it is one of the reasons the gemstone doesn’t have a known industrial value or commercial use, according to Dr Hobart M. King of geology.com.
However, it is known that the presence and development of augite may assist scientists and geologists in the history of certain regions. The brown, black, greenish, violet-brown gemstone can be found in Hudspeth County, Texas
Silver is a shining metal known as being the best electric conductor of the elements like gold has a lot of uses, but in terms of investment investing in silver is volatile.
Found in Hudspeth County, Brewster County, and Plata Verde District, silver is more volatile than bonds or stocks investing, meaning its price can rise or fall unpredictably.
There is a large accumulation of bituminous materials in most parts of East Texas including Newton, San Augustine, Shelby, Angelina, and Houston among others.
The table below shows the list of solid and mineral resources spread across Texas and some of the places where they are deposited:
Crane County etc
|Ceramic clay||East Texas|
Plata Verde District etc
|Nonceramic clay||East Texas|
|Asphaltic sands||East Texas|
|Gravel||North, Central, and South Texas|
|Iron ore||Burnet county|
|Natural asphalt||Uvalde county|
Presidio among other others
|Crushed Stone||Southern Texas|
Maverick County and so on
As earlier stated, there are several mineral resources in Texas. And there are precautions to be taken for such minerals are could pose health challenges
- Featured image (Big Bend National Park Texas) by pixabay
- Bureau of Economic Geology. “Rock and Mineral Resources of East Texas”. beg.utexas.edu
- Eric Sepanek (May 30, 2012). “Top 6 Common Uses For Gold”. sbcgold.com.
- Gra-Rock (November 11, 2019). “The Complete Guide to Crushed Stone and Gravel” gra-rock.com
- Shaw Resources. “What Is Silica Sand & How Is It Different From Regular Sand?” shawresources.ca
- Mindat. “Chalcedony from Texas, USA”. mindat.org
- Bible Study Tool. “Chalcedony”. biblestudytools.com