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Interstate Technical Group on Abandoned Underground Mines
Third Biennial Workshop

Mining History in Kansas

Lawrence L. Brady
Kansas Geological Survey
1930 Constant Avenue
Lawrence, Kansas 66047-3726

Introduction

Mining of economic rocks and minerals in Kansas has been important to the development of the state and the region. From the coal mines of eastern Kansas to the salt mines of central Kansas, the mining history of the state has been both colorful and necessary for an emerging state over the last 150 years. Production from the lead-zinc mines of the Tri-State mining district of southeastern Kansas, southwest Missouri, and northeast Oklahoma was important to the nation's war effort during the first half of this century when the region was the worlds leading zinc producer and also an important lead producer.

Consideration of the important minerals won during the mining history of the state is summarized in Table 1, showing the relation of important mined products during the early part of the 1900's, in 1950, and showing the latest data about Kansas production during 1998. Production (tonnage) of coal peaked in Kansas during 1917-18, while lead-zinc production peaked in 1926. However, review of Table 1 shows the sharp production increase over the century of the major industrial minerals in the state, including stone (mainly limestone), salt and gypsum. The tonnage and value of gypsum in 1998 are not shown in Table 1 (due to concealment policies of the U.S. Geological Survey), but both of these figures are many times larger than gypsum production and value in 1950.

With the peak year for lead-zinc production in Kansas of 1926, the relations of the same mineral products shown in Table 1 (with the exception of dimension stone) are shown in Table 2. Those commodities are also compared to the total production and value for those same commodities for the United States as a whole.

Zinc and Lead Mining

The zinc-lead mines of Cherokee County (Kansas)--especially around the towns of Galena, Treece, and Baxter Springs, produced nearly 2.9 million tons of zinc and 0.7 million tons of lead from approximately 115 million tons of mined ore (Table 3, from Stewart, 1986) over the life of the district. The Tri-State district (Fig. 1) in all three states produced nearly 12 million tons of zinc and 2.9 million tons of lead (Table 3). The earliest period of lead mining in Kansas was probably in Linn County in the 1830's, but the first commercial production of lead in the state was near Galena in 1877 (Schoewe, 1958, p. 418-421). Nearly all of the lead and zinc was won by underground mining methods; however, some strip mining of the ores was tried in the Galena area. An important summary article discussing the geology of the Tri-State district is presented by Brockie, Hare, and Dingus (1968)--geologists with Eagle-Picher Industries, the principal mining company in the Tri-State. McKnight and Fischer (1970) completed another comprehensive study of the huge richer field--located in Oklahoma and Kansas in the western part of the Tri-State.

The Tri-State mining district was the leading zinc-mining district in the world for nearly half a century, and it was also an important producer of lead, silver, cadmium, germanium, and gallium (Hagni, 1986, p. 30). Mining of lead-zinc ended in 1970 with the closing of the Eagle-Picher Industries Swalley Mine near Baxter Springs and the closing of the Eagle-Picher central mill at Cardin, Oklahoma. Nearly all ore production of this district was from carbonate rocks of Mississippian age, with the most important production in the district coming from a zone called the "M" bed or the "Joplin member" of the "Boone formation". An informal system of zoning of the local rock units (Beds B through R) is commonly used in the Tri-State region that was developed by Fowler and Lyden (1932). This system along with local formal and informal stratigraphic units is shown in Figure 2, with the important ore "beds" emphasized on the zoning system by Hagni (1986, p. 31). For formal stratigraphic unit names in the area refer to Thompson (1986), Ebanks and others (1979), and Baars and Maples (1998).

As a result of the extensive mining in the Tri-State district are many hazards that continue to exist to the present time although considerable effort was made by local, state, and federal governments to correct many of the mine hazards. McCauley and others (1983) summarized the physical hazards in the Kansas portion of the Tri-State (Table 4), and also a listing of the total acres disturbed by mining in the Kansas portion of the district (Table 5).

These extensive physical problems highlighted by McCauley and others (1983) were recognized as major problems to future development of the area. Efforts were made to mitigate the hazards by local citizens, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), the U. S. Bureau of Mines (USBM), and the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The efforts of the KDHE and EPA were primarily concerned with the heavy metals in the groundwater and surface waters of the area as well as the general background levels of certain portions of the mining district. The physical hazards (subsidence, open shafts, etc.) were the primary concern of the U. S. Bureau of Mines and local citizen groups. The USBM funded the hazard study in Kansas, and similar studies in Missouri by McFarland and Brown (1983), and in Oklahoma by Luza (1983). Dressel, McFarland, and Brown (1986) summarized these hazard studies for the entire mining district.

Coal Mining

Deposits of bituminous coal are widespread in the Pennsylvanian rocks of eastern Kansas, with coal production recorded from all but two counties having Pennsylvanian rocks present at or near the surface. Both deep mining and surface mining methods were used in the past to win the coal from at least 20 different coal beds. General stratigraphy of the Pennsylvanian rock units is shown in Figure 3. The most important coal mining in the state was in southeast Kansas where coal beds within the Cherokee Group were extensively mined in portions of Cherokee, Crawford, and Bourbon counties. Most important of the coal beds was the Weir-Pittsburg coal, and the extensive distribution of underground mining of this coal by room-and-pillar methods is shown in Figure 4. Where the Weir-Pittsburg coal was also mined by strip-mining methods total production of the Weir-Pittsburg coal represents about two-thirds of the coal mined in the state.

Another area of extensive deep mining was in Osage County where the Nodaway coal of the Wabaunsee Group was mined by both deep and surface mining methods. In this area the Bell #4 mine south of Burlingame (Osage County) was the last deep coal mine to operate in Kansas, closing in 1964. Deep coal mining at depths around 700+ feet occurred in eastern Leavenworth County where some mines extended under the Missouri River into the state of Missouri. Coal deep-mined in Leavenworth County for the deep mines was mainly from the Bevier coal of the Cherokee Group. The last deep mine operating in Leavenworth County was the Kansas State Prison Mine at Lansing that used convict labor and this mine closed in 1947. The old longwall mining system was used for the deep mining in Leavenworth and Osage counties as compared to the room-and-pillar mining system used in southeast Kansas coal mines.

Coal deposits in Kansas have been exploited for nearly 150 years with a total coal production of approximately 300 million short tons. Peak years for coal production was 1917 and 1918, with production for each year at about 7.25 million tons. The earliest coal mining in Kansas was from mines in the Leavenworth area where the coal was important for Fort Leavenworth (established in 1843), and later the coal was used and moved by large boats and barges on the Missouri River. Mining of coal in the Osage County area was important for early railroads, and the coal mines influenced the location of the rail lines to the southwest.

In the late 1800's the coal mines in southeast Kansas became the important coal-producing region of the state due to the abundance of coal and the thickness and quality of the coal. This area dominated coal production until the mid 1970' s when the Pittsburgh & Midway Coal Mining Company Mine #19 shut down in Cherokee County, and P&M started full production at their Midway Mine in Linn County, Kansas, and Bates County, Missouri, mining the Mulberry coal (Marmaton Group). From that time to the present, Linn County periodically became the dominant county over Crawford County although the P&M Midway Mine closed in 1990.

For the last three and one-half years (1997-2000), Linn County coal production was the largest of any county in the state, and in 1999 and 2000 the only commercial coal production was from Linn County (414 thousand tons in 1999). General distribution of coals having the potential for surface mining in eastern Kansas (Pennsylvanian age) is shown in figure 5. In north central Kansas there are areas of thin lenticular lignite deposits from which a total production of about 300,000 tons was mined from more then 150 small mines (Schoewe, 1958, p. 378-79). These lignite deposits were present in the upper part of the Dakota Formation (Lower Cretaceous age).

Industrial Minerals

The principal industrial minerals of Kansas emphasized in this study are those minerals and rocks that were mined wholly or in part by underground methods. These "minerals" include salt, gypsum, and stone (especially limestone) for crushed stone and building or dimension stone. Included in industrial minerals mined in Kansas entirely by surface methods are the sand and gravel deposits, volcanic ash, clay and shale for ceramic products, and diatomaceous marl. These industrial minerals will not be discussed in this paper, but their general distribution is shown in Figures 6 and 7. Large volumes of sand and gravel are extracted from the floodplains, channels, and terraces of Kansas rivers, and from the large deposits of Tertiary sand and gravel of the high plains in the western part of Kansas. Although used primarily for road and construction purposes, some quality sand is used as industrial sand for fiberglass manufacturing and for sand blasting applications. Grisafe (2000) compiled a listing of nearly 6,300 locations of abandoned industrial mineral pits, quarries, and mine locations in Kansas. In addition, a second compilation (Grisafe and Baker, 1999) lists a total of 879 active industrial mineral pits, quarries, and mine locations (active during 1998) in the state. The general distribution of industrial minerals in Kansas is shown in Figures 6 and 7.

Salt

Extensive deposits of salt are present in the central part of the state that have been exploited for economic purposes by underground mining methods and solution mining efforts. Rock salt was first discovered in Kansas in 1887 while individuals were exploring for oil and gas (Schoewe, 1958, p. 437). The important commercial salt bed in the state is the Hutchinson Salt Member of the Wellington Formation (Lower Permian). Distribution and general thickness of the Hutchinson salt is shown in Figure 8. Three mining companies are presently mining the salt by underground mining methods including the Hutchinson Salt Company (Reno County), Lyons Salt Company (Rice County), and the Independent Salt Company (Ellsworth County). Depths of mining range from 645 feet with the Hutchinson Salt Company to 1045 feet with the Lyons Salt Company. At least five additional deep mines have operated in Kansas that are no longer mining salt. Among these five mines, two operated in Rice County, two in Ellsworth County, and one in Kingman County. Besides the companies with operating shaft mines, three salt companies presently have solution mine fields-three fields in Reno County and one in Rice County. A fourth company solution mines salt in Sedgwick County for chlorine chemical manufacturing.

In addition to the Hutchinson salt, there are extensive salt deposits within the Nippewalla Group (Holdoway, 1978) that are not commercially developed. These deposits are stratigraphically higher--but still within Lower Permian rocks, with the salt beds generally west of the Hutchinson salt beds.

Extensive discussion of the Kansas salt deposits and salt mining methods are available in reports by Taft (1946), and Walters (1978). In the Walters report, emphasis is placed on land subsidence due to salt dissolution by improperly designed brine fields, and improperly plugged oil wells that penetrated the thick salt beds. Watney (1980) determined detailed distribution of the Hutchinson salt in Kansas.

Gypsum

Deposits of gypsum are present in several geologic units within Lower Permian rocks of central Kansas. General distribution of the gypsum deposits is shown in fig. 6. Two gypsum mines still operate in the state, and based on the report of Kulstad and others (1956) there were at least 19 mines in ten counties in the state. In Marshall County in the northern part of the state, the Georgia Pacific Gypsum Corporation mines gypsum from shallow depths using underground methods. The gypsum is mined from gypsum beds that are about eight to nine feet thick in the Easly Creek Shale Formation in the upper part of the Council Grove Group. In the south-central part of Kansas, the National Gypsum Company mines the Medicine Lodge Gypsum Member of the Blaine Formation in the upper part of the Nippewalla Group. National Gypsum now mines gypsum primarily by surface mining methods in northwest Barber County; however, they also have a shallow underground mine where they obtain their purest gypsum for high quality plaster. Maximum thickness of the gypsum bed in the area of the mine is about 30 feet.

Most of the gypsum mined by the two active companies is calcined for use in wallboard or plaster. The company plants where the gypsum is processed is located near the mine (Georgia--Pacific) or shipped about 20 miles to the plant (National). Raw gypsum is also used in manufacture of portland cement, and as a soil additive for agriculture purposes.

Stone

Throughout the eastern third of Kansas, stone is quarried and crushed for use in cement manufacture, concrete aggregate, agriculture lime, and as road metal. Limestone from Pennsylvanian, Permian, and Cretaceous rocks is commonly used for crushed stone in the state. Sandstone from some Pennsylvanian rocks is used in cement manufacture, and calcite-cemented sandstone in Lincoln County (limited areas of Dakota Formation sandstones within Lower Cretaceous rocks) is extensively used where high quality aggregates are needed in the western part of the state. A general distribution of the stone quarries and mines in Kansas are shown in Fig. 7.

Underground limestone mining operations have been important for years in the Kansas City area, and in the Bonner Springs (underground operations recently closed) and Atchison areas. Currently two underground limestone mines are operating in the Kansas City (Kansas) area, including one mine in Johnson County (mining the Argentine limestone Member of the Wyandotte Limestone) and one mine in Wyandotte County (mining the Bethany Falls Limestone Member of the Swope Limestone). In Atchison County there are three limestone mines, each mining the Plattsmouth Limestone Member of the Oread Limestone.

Limestone for building stone has been extensively quarried in Kansas. At the present time most of the building stone is quarried from Lower Permian limestone units. Important limestones used in recent years by producers (Grisafe, 1976) include certain ledges in the Fort Riley Limestone Member of the Barnston Limestone (with trade names of "Silverdale" and "Junction City", dependent on the location mined), the Cottonwood Limestone Member of the Beattie Limestone, and the Funston Limestone Formation ("Onaga"). Other Permian limestone units quarried include the Five Point Limestone ("Chestnut Shell") where it is developed as a local coquina in Pottawatomie County, that is a member of the Janesville Shale, the Neva Limestone member of the Granola Limestone, and the Creswell Limestone Member of the Winfield Limestone.

Important in the western part of the state for building stone are the thick Fort Hays Limestone Member of the Ibarra Chalk, and the Fencepost limestone bed of the Greenhorn Limestone. These units are present in Upper Cretaceous rocks and located in west central Kansas. Another Cretaceous unit that has been used for building stone is the Dakota Formation in areas where well-cemented sandstone beds exist (Risser, 1960).

Within the Pennsylvanian rocks of Kansas, various limestone units were used for local building stone. Limestone units described by Risser (1960) as having more extensive use are the Kereford Limestone and Toronto Limestone members of the Oread Limestone, and the Westerville Limestone Member of the Cherryville Shale. In Bourbon County, the Bandera Quarry Sandstone Member of the Bandera Shale was extensively quarried and had widespread use in the region. A good summary of the Kansas building stones--their quarrying, processing, and use is summarized in Schoewe (1958, p. 443-457), Risser (1960) and Grisafe (1976).

Summary

  1. Mining in Kansas is now mainly involved with the extraction of industrial minerals. Mine production and value of industrial minerals has continuously increased over the last century as a result mainly of the growing population of the state. In contrast, the zinc--lead industry developed around the large Tri-State mining district no longer produces these metals in Kansas or in the Missouri and Oklahoma portions of the district. Production of coal was also very important in the first half of the 20th century, but coal production has been reduced to the small amount of about 400 thousand tons/year (1999) from a peak yearly production of 7.25 million tons in 1917 and 1918.

  2. Zinc and lead mining in the Tri-State district closed in 1970 after production of nearly 12 million tons of zinc and 2.9 million tons of lead. Kansas contributed about 25 percent of that metal amount for the district-a district that lead the world in zinc production for nearly 50 years. As the result of this extensive mining of metals, there are a number of hazards that develop over time such as mine collapses, and open shafts. McCauley and others (1983) recognized a total of 910 hazards for the Kansas portion of the Tri-State district. Work by a number of government agencies, and local citizen groups has helped mitigate a number of these hazards since the time of the McCauley study.

  3. Coal mining existed in most counties in the eastern part of Kansas, but the most important area mined for coal was in southeast Kansas-primarily in Crawford and Cherokee counties. Coal was won in that area by extensive underground mining of the Wier-Pittsburg coal. Surface mining of the Weir-Pittsburg coal and other coals of the Cherokee group were also very important in those counties and in Bourbon County. For the past 25 years Linn County has periodically become the important coal-producing county in the state, and it is now (2000) the only Kansas county with producing coal mines.

  4. Extensive deposits of Hutchinson salt exist in the central part of the state with a salt thickness up to 400 feet. Those salt deposits have been mined since the 1870's. At the present time there are three shaft mines, and five solution mine fields, that are mining this commodity for use in Kansas and the region.

  5. Stone production in the state is another very important commodity for our developing economy. Limestone is widely distributed in eastern Kansas and in portions of north central Kansas. The limestone is used as concrete aggregate, road metal, agricultural lime, building stone, and in the manufacturing of cement. Sandstone is produced in limited areas of the state and it is also used for most of the same uses of limestone, except for agriculture lime, and a more restricted use in cement production. Six underground mines exist in northeastern Kansas that produce crushed limestone for the local building and road construction industries.
  6. Deposits of gypsum exist in a general north-south direction across central Kansas. These gypsum deposits have been actively worked by both underground and surface mining methods. Two gypsum mines now operate in Kansas, one in the northern part of the state and the other in the southern part. The most important use of the gypsum is for manufacture of wallboard and plasters. Other uses include its use as an agriculture soil additive, and in the manufacture of cement,

  7. Zinc, lead, coal, salt, gypsum, and stone have all been won entirely or in part by underground mining methods in Kansas. Results of those efforts have been important to the economy of the state. However, the space left after mining and the weakening of the overlying rocks with time present potential hazards. These problems must be recognized by geologists and engineers now and in the future as they cope with subsidence, collapse, and weakening rock when roads, buildings, and other structures are constructed over those problem areas. This report provides those geologists and engineers with some general idea of the distribution and amount of mining that was conducted in Kansas. Many key references have been provided to permit further investigations of the mineral resources, or potential problems associated with the winning of those mineral resources.

References Cited

Abernathy, G. E., 1944, Mined areas of the Weir-Pittsburg coal bed: Kansas Geological Survey Bulletin 52, pt. 5, p. 213-228.

Baars, D. L., and Maples, C. G., 1998, Lexicon of geologic names of Kansas (through 1995): Kansas Geological Survey Bulletin 231, 271p.

Brady, L. L., Adams, D. B., and Livingston, N. D., 1976, An evaluation of the strippable coal reserves in Kansas: Kansas Geological Survey Mineral Resources Series no. 5, 40 p.

Brady, L. L., Nuelle, L. M., Haug, D. B., Smith, D. C., Bostic, J. L., and Jaquess, J. C., 1994, Coal resources of the Joplin l° x 2° Quadrangle, Kansas and Missouri: U. S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Investigations Series Map I-2426-A, 2 plates w/text.

Brichta, L. C., 1960,Catalog of recorded exploration drilling and mine workings, Tri-State zinc-lead district, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma: U. S. Bureau of Mines Information Circular IC7993, 13p. .

Brockie, D. C., Hare, E. H., Jr., and Dingess, P. R. (1968), The geology and ore deposits of the Tri-State district of Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma, in Ridge, J. D. (ed.) Ore deposits of the United States, 1933-1967: American Institute of Mining Engineers, New York, p. 400-430.

Dressel, W. M., McFarland, M. C., and Brown, J. C., Jr., 1986, Post-mining hazards of the Kansas-Missouri-Oklahoma Tri-State zinc-lead mining district in Guidebook to the Geology and environmental concerns in the Tri-State lead-zinc district, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma: Association of Missouri Geologists, 33rd annual field trip, September 26-27, 1986, p. 47-54.

Ebanks, W. J., Jr., Brady, L. L., Heckel, P. H., O'Connor, H. G., Sanderson, G. A., West, R. R., and Wilson, F. W., 1979, The Mississippian and Pennsylvanian (Carboniferous) systems in the United States-Kansas: U. S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1110-Q, p. QI-Q28.

Fowler, G. M., and Lyden, J. P., 1932, The ore deposits of the Tri-State district (Missouri Kansas-Oklahoma): American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers Transactions, v. 102, p. 206-251.

Grisafe, D. A., 1976, Kansas building limestone: Kansas Geological Survey Mineral Resources Series 4, 42p.

Grisafe, D. A., 2000, Directory of industrial mineral abandoned pits and quarries in Kansas: Kansas Geological Survey Open-file report 2000-3, 23Op.

Grisafe, D. A., and Baker, D., 1999, Directory of Kansas mineral producers: Kansas Geological Survey Open-file report 1999-46, 230p.

Hagni, R. D., 1986, A summary of the geology of the ore deposits of the Tri-State district, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma, in Guidebook to the Geology and environmental concerns in the Tri-State lead-zinc district, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma: Association of Missouri Geologists, 33rd annual field trip, September 26-27, 1986, p. 30-46.

Hambleton, W. W., Goebel, E. D., Muilenburg, G., Hornbaker, A. L., and Smith, R. L., 1962, Economic development for Kansas-Mineral and water resources: Center for Research in Business, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, 148p.

Holdoway, K. A., 1978, Deposition of evaporites and red beds of the Nippewalla Group, Permian, western Kansas: Kansas Geological Survey Bulletin 215, 43p.

Kulstad, R. 0., Fairchild, P., and McGregor, D., 1956, Gypsum in Kansas: Kansas Geological Survey Bulletin 113, 110p.

Luza, K. V, 1983, Study of stability problems and hazard evaluation of the Kansas portion of the Tri-State mining area (Contract J0100133 report): U. S. Bureau of Mines Open-file report 76-83, 147 p.

McCauley, J. R., Brady, L. L., and Wilson, F. W., 1983, Study of stability problems and hazard evaluation of the Kansas portion of the Tri-State mining area (Contract 10100131 report): U. S. Bureau of Mines Open-file report 75-83, 193 p. (Also Kansas Geological Survey Open-file Report 83-2.)

McFarland, M. C., and Brown, J. C., 1983, Study of stability problems and hazard evaluation of the Missouri portion of the Tri-State mining area (Contract 10100132 report): U. S. Bureau of Mines Open-file report 97-83, 141 p.

McKnight, E. T., and Fischer, R. P., 1970, Geology and ore deposits of the Picher field, Oklahoma and Kansas: U. S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 588, 165p.

Risser, H. E., 1960, Kansas building stone: Kansas Geological Survey Bulletin 142, pt. 2, p. 53-122.

Schoewe, W. H., 1958, The geography of Kansas-Part IV, Economic geography: mineral resources: Transactions Kansas Academy of Science, v. 61, p. 359-468.

Stewart, D. R., 1986, A brief description of the historical, ore production, mine pumping, and prospecting aspects of the Tri-State zinc-lead district of Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma in Guidebook to the Geology and environmental concerns in the Tri-State lead-zinc district, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma: Association of Missouri Geologists, 33rd annual field trip, September 26-27, 1986, p.16-29.

Taft, R., 1946, Kansas and the nation's salt: Transactions Kansas Academy of Science, v. 49, p. 223-272.

Tanner, A., and Grisafe, D. A., 1999, The mineral industry of Kansas: U. S. Geological Survey Mineral Industry Surveys--1998 annual estimate, 6p.

Thompson, T. T., 1986, Paleozoic succession in Missouri, Part 4-Mississippian system: Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geology and Land Survey, Report of Investigations 70, 189p.

U. S. Bureau of Mines, 1929a, Mineral resources of the United State-1926: Pt. I, metals: U. S. Bureau of Mines, 774p.

U. S. Bureau of Mines, 1929b, Mineral resources of the United States-1926: Pt. II, nonmetals: U. S. Bureau of Mines, 675p.

U. S. Bureau of Mines, 1952, Minerals yearbook-1950: U. S. Bureau of Mines, 1690p. U. S. Geological Survey, 1916a, Mineral resources of the United States-1914: Pt. I, metals: U.S. Geological Survey, 995p.

U. S. Geological Survey, 1916b, Mineral resources of the United States-1914: Pt. I, nonmetals: U. S. Geological Survey, 1122p.

Walters, R. F., 1978, Land subsidence in central Kansas related to salt dissolution: Kansas Geological Survey Bulletin 214, 82p.

Watney, W. L., 1980, Subsurface geologic study of the Hutchinson salt: Kansas Geological Survey Open-file Report 80-16,37 fig., 16p.

Table 1. Kansas mining production and values for selected commodities -1914, 1950, 1998.

Commodity# 1914* 1950** 1998p***
1000 st. $ million 1000 st. $ million 1000 st. $ million
Zinc (metal) 10.6 1.08 27.2 7.72    
Lead (metal) 1.40 0.11 9.49 2.56    
Coal 6,860 11.2 2,030 7.96 345(a) 7.76(b)
Stone (crushed) 884 0.60 7,590 8.23 24,900 102
Stone (dimension)     44.2 0.69 24.3 1.55
Salt 416 0.92 846 5.91 3,560 121
Gypsum 111 0.31 333 0.76 (c) (c)

# Other mined commodities not included in this summary are sand and gravel, volcanic ash, and clay and shales

* U.S. Geological Survey (1916a,b) Mineral Resources of US -1914
** U.S. Bureau of Mines (1953) Minerals Yearbook -1950
*** Tanner and Grisafe (1999), USGS Mineral Industry Surveys -Kansas 1998 est. (1999)

(a)  Kansas Department Health and Environment --Surface Mining Section information
(b)  Estimate
(c)  Data not released

Table 2. Kansas and U.S. mining production and value for selected commodities -1926.

  KANSAS * US*
1000 st. $ million 1000 st. $ million
Zinc 126 18.9 612 91.8
Lead 28.5 4.55 681 109
Coal 4,010 12.5 601,000 1,660
Stone (crushed) 851 1.06 124,000 188
Salt 730 2.74 7,371 25.1
Gypsum 195 1.22 5,640 46.7

*U.S. Bureau of Mines (1929a,b), Mineral Resources of the U.S. -1926.

Table 3. Mine production by states of the Tri-State Mining District.

State Operating Period Est. Tons Mined (st)* Recoverable Metal (st)
Lead Zinc
Missouri 1850-1957 196,000,000 885,390 3,618,930
Kansas 1876-1970 115,000,000 691,338 2,900,000
Oklahoma 1891-1970 187,000,000 1,306,679 5,219,998
Totals (Metal)   498,000,000 2,883,407 11,738,928
Average Grade (% Metal)     0.579 2.357

(*) Figures rounded to nearest one million tons, and consist of estimated tonnages for 1850-1906 and 1946-1970 periods.

Modified from Stewart (1986, p. 22)

Table 4. Summary of hazards in Kansas portion of the Tri-State Mining District.

Uncollapsed Collapsed Total
Mining Area Adits Open Pits Surface Collapses Open Shafts Open Shafts Hazard Shafts Total Hazards Total Shafts
Waco 0 0 24 3 10 13 37 42
Lawton 0 0 9 0 5 5 14 33
Badger-Peacock 0 1 7 5 20 25 33 141
Crestline 0 0 5 0 15 15 20 23
Treece 0 0 17 18 62 80 97 189
Baxter Springs 0 0 36 11 63 74 110 151
Galena 6 7 209 11 366 377 599 2966
Totals 6 8 307 48 541 589 910 3545

Modified from McCauley and others (1983, p. 34)

Table 5. Mining affected areas in the Kansas Tri-State Mining District.

Mining Area Approximate area covered by mine and mill waste (Acres) Approximate area of known underground mining (Acres)
Waco (150) (85)
Lawton (19) (11)
Badger-Peacock (27) (41)
Crestline (45) (34)
Treece (747) (1273)
Baxter Springs (449) (530)
Galena (891) (246)
Totals (2328) (2220)

Modified from McCauley and others (1983, p. 34)

Figure 1.  Principal portion of the Tri-State mining district, showing general mined areas. Modified from Brichta (1960, p. 5)
Figure 1. Principal portion of the Tri-State mining district, showing general mined areas.
Modified from Brichta (1960, p. 5). (Click on image for larger version).

Figure 2. General stratigraphic column for Mississippian rocks in the Tri-State mining district showing various ''beds'. Modified from Hagni (1986, p. 31).
Figure 2. General stratigraphic column for Mississippian rocks in the Tri-State mining district showing various ''beds'. Modified from Hagni (1986, p. 31). (Click on image for larger version).

Figure 3. General Pennsylvanian stratigraphic column in Kansas showing coal beds that were extensively mined by underground mining in the state.
Figure 3. General Pennsylvanian stratigraphic column in Kansas showing coal beds that were extensively mined by underground mining in the state. (Click on image for larger version).

Figure 4. Area in southeast Kansas showing extensive underground mining for the WeirPittsburg coal (shaded area). Modified from Brady and others (1994) from original mine distribution by Abernathy (1944).
Figure 4. Area in southeast Kansas showing extensive underground mining for the WeirPittsburg coal (shaded area). Modified from Brady and others (1994) from original mine distribution by Abernathy (1944). (Click on image for larger version).

General distribution of strippable coals by geologic group in eastern Kansas.  From Brady and others (1976, p. 18).
Figure 5. General distribution of strippable coals by geologic group in eastern Kansas. From Brady and others (1976, p. 18). (Click on image for larger version).

General distribution in Kansas of coal, lignite, salt, gypsum, volcanic ash, and diatomaceous marl. Modified from Hambleton and others (1961, p.12).
Figure 6. General distribution in Kansas of coal, lignite, salt, gypsum, volcanic ash, and diatomaceous marl. Modified from Hambleton and others (1961, p.12). (Click on image for larger version).

General distribution in Kansas of stone quarries and mines and sand-gravel pits. Modified from Hambleton and others (1961, p. 12).
Figure 7. General distribution in Kansas of stone quarries and mines and sand-gravel pits. Modified from Hambleton and others (1961, p. 12). (Click on image for larger version).

General distribution and thickness of the Hutchison salt in central Kansas, and location of shaft mines that mine the salt.  Modified from Walters (1978. p. 3).
Figure 8. General distribution and thickness of the Hutchison salt in central Kansas, and location of shaft mines that mine the salt. Modified from Walters (1978. p. 3). (Click on image for larger version).

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Updated: 04/07/2011

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United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration