information provided by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (June 28, 2018) – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is now offering a wider selection of educational posters that highlight the minerals and rocks that are mined in Illinois—providing a glimpse at the vast array of underground resources available in the state, and the products those resources help create.
The IDNR Office of Mines and Minerals produced the 12-poster series. It’s now available for order from the IDNR, and the latest in the series of posters will be on display at Conservation World at the 2018 Illinois State Fair in August.
Fuller’s earth is one of the minerals featured in the poster series. It’s an absorbent clay, mined in southern Illinois’ Pulaski County. Baseball groundskeepers may sometimes use it to clear the infield after a rain shower so players can get back to the game.
Mining has been a critical part of Illinois’ history. For thousands of years, ancient peoples of the past and aggregate miners of 2018 have provided rich supplies of chert and flint, salt, iron ore, lead, zinc, pyrite, sand and gravel, limestone, clay and shale, silica sand, tripoli, fluorite, coal, peat, and Fuller’s earth.
The rocks and minerals have been used to enhance farming, preserve food, improve hunting tools, provide munitions, and more. More recently, these mineral and rock resources have been used to produce steel, build roads, filter oils, produce heat and electricity, and enhance modern manufacturing.
Each year, the IDNR Office of Mines and Minerals produces a new rocks and minerals poster that is debuted at the Illinois State Fair in the Conservation World Mines and Minerals tent, complete with a display about the featured mineral. For the 2018 state fair, the featured minerals will be Galena (Lead), Sphalerite (Zinc) and Pyrite (Iron and Sulfur).
The 12-poster series has now been completed, and includes a poster about how older reclaimed mines are used to enhance endangered species protection in Illinois.
Copies of these posters may be obtained through the IDNR Publications order page.