Distribution of Minerals Around the World

Distribution of Minerals (from a 1900 school book): Metals are very widely diffused over the earth, there being but few countries of any extent that do not contain some of them.

They are sometimes found pure, but are generally mixed with other minerals, in a rocky substance called ore. the most important metals are gold, platinum, silver, iron, copper, zinc, lead, tin, and mercury or quicksilver.

Gold.--This is the most precious of the metals. It is usually found in grains, or gold-dust in a pure state.Gold is extensively diffused throughout the United States. The Appalachian region extend from the Rappahannock River, in Virginia, to the coast of Alabama. The California gold region, noted for it's riches, is in the great valley of the Sacramento and San Joaquin, Nearly 500 miles long by about 50 in breadth. Gold is also very abundant in Colorado; and there are rich fields of this precious metal scattered through Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, and Arizona.The gold region of Australia, one of the most productive in the world, occupies the south-eastern part of the continent.Gold is also found in Mexico and Central America; in South America, along the base of the Andes and in Brazil; in Europe, at Kremnitz in Austria, and other places. It is abundant in Western Siberia; and is found in Africa among the Kong Mountains and in various parts of the eastern cost. The islands of Malaysia, particularly Borneo, Celebes (sel'ebiz) and Sumatra, produce considerable quantities of gold.

Platinum.--Platinum, a grayish metal, is found in some of the gold washings of South America, and is produced in the Ural Mountains in considerable quantities.

Distribution of Minerals

Silver.--Silver is found in several locations in the western part of the United States,--in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Idaho, and Montana. The mines is Nevada, Arizona are particularly rich.Mexico contains the richest silver mines in the world. In South America there are very productive mines in Peru, Bolivia, and Chili.The quantity of silver found in other parts of the world is comparatively insignificant. The principal mines in Europe are those if Schemnitz (Shem'nits) and Kremnitz, in Hungary, and those of Spain.

Iron.--This is the most useful and extensively diffused of all the metals.It is found in the greatest abundance in the United States and Europe. In the former, the states most noted for its production are Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Maryland, and West Virginia. Iron ore is also abundant in the mineral region south of Lake Superior, in Tennessee, Georgia, Missouri, and other states. Iron Mountain, in Missouri, is composed entirely of iron ore.

Distribution of Minerals

Copper.--Copper ranks next to iron in utility, and, though less abundant, is found in many parts of the earth. It is sometime obtained in pure masses weighing several tons.The richest and purest copper mines in the United States, and probably in the world, are found in Norther Michigan on the shores of Lake Superior.The most noted copper region of South America is in Chili; the most noted noted of Europe is in England. These two countries supply about one-half of all the copper consumed in the world.

Zinc.-- The countries most noted for extensive zinc mines are Prussia and Belgium.

Lead.--Lead is found in greater or less quantities in all countries. Those particularly distinguished for the amount of lead annually produced are the United States, Great Britain, and Spain. The great land mines of the United States lie on each side of the Mississippi River in North-western Illinois, South-western Wisconsin, and Iowa; and in Missouri south of the Missouri River.

Distribution of Minerals

Tin.--This metal is found in but few countries. The most noted places where it is obtained are Cornwall, in England, and the island of Banca, in the East Indies.

Mercury.--The principal quicksilver mines if the world are those of California (about 13 miles from San Jose), of Peru, in South America, of Idria, in Southern Austria, and of Almaden (ahl-mah-den'), near Cordova, in Spain.

Coal.--Coal is particularly abundant in some parts of British America and the United States, in South America, in Great Britain, in portions of the Europe Continent, and also in China. It is believed that the largest coal-fields in the world are those of the United States.That particular kind of coal which is known by the name of jet, is much used for mourning ornaments, as necklaces, rings, bracelets, etc. In a single department in Southern France, there are about 1,200 persons employed in the manufacture of the different articles from Jet.

Distribution of Minerals

Sulphur.--This simple mineral substance is sometimes called brimstone (that is, burn-stone), from its great combustibility. It is found chiefly in volcanic countries. Sicily and Iceland abound with the mineral.

Petroleum.-- Petroleum, or rock-oil, an inflammable bituminous liquid, is found in various parts of both the Eastern and the Western continent. It is particularly abundant in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Canada.

Distribution of Minerals

Amber.--This is a resinous substance often made into ornaments. It is obtained chiefly in Prussia, on the shores of the Baltic, where it is found in the sand and sea-weed, and also by digging below the surface.

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