Value of Illinois' Industrial Minerals
Industrial minerals continue to be Illinois' leading mineral resource, accounting for more than $900 million (42%) of the total value of minerals produced in the state in 2003, followed by coal ($788 million or 36%) and oil ($477 million or 22%).
Illinois ranks sixteenth among the 50 states in total nonfuel mineral production value. The state ranks first in the production of silica sand and tripoli while it is fifth in crushed stone. It ranks fourth in fuller's earth (absorbent or kitty litter clay) and peat and eighth in Portland cement production. In addition, Illinois remains a significant producer of construction sand and gravel and lime.
More than 80 million tons of crushed stone and more than 30 million tons of sand and gravel are produced in Illinois each year from more than 150 quarries and pits. Northern Illinois quarries and pits provide more than 50% of the crushed stone and sand and gravel aggregate, most of which is used locally
By value, crushed stone is Illinois' leading industrial mineral, accounting for about 46% of the total ($419 million), followed by Portland cement with almost 23% ($209 million) along with construction sand and gravel with about 14% ($127 million).
Industrial minerals have been and remain a key component of the state's economy (Industrial Minerals in Illinois: A Key to Growth - PDF file). Because of the importance of materials such as aggregates to local and state infrastructure, their continued availability is essential for Illinois' economic growth. Production and processing of industrial minerals create a large number of jobs in Illinois, as does the use of these resources in building homes, schools, offices, roads, and airport runways.