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Entries - Entry Category: Mining - Starting with M

Manganese Mining

The mining of manganese ore was a very important economic activity in Arkansas between 1849 and 1959. The region around Batesville (Independence County)—including about 100 square miles located in northwestern Independence County, southeastern Izard County, and northeastern Stone County—has produced more than ninety-eight percent of the manganese ore shipped from Arkansas. A second area including portions of Polk and Montgomery counties also contains manganese ores. The first commercial exploitation of manganese was by Colonel Matthew Martin. Between 1848 and 1850, Martin purchased large tracts of land containing the ore, and, between 1850 and 1852, he shipped small quantities of manganese from Penter’s Bluff (Izard County) on the White River to Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and even Liverpool, England, where it …

Mercury Mining

aka: Cinnabar Mining
Mercury, which was first mined in Arkansas in 1931, is in most rock types in trace amounts, generally occurring at higher levels in shale and clay-rich sediments and organic materials like coal than in sandstone, limestone, or dolostone. Although mercury was widely used in the past for several applications, the market for products containing mercury steadily declined in the 1980s because it was recognized to be toxic. It still has important uses, however, in the chemical and electrical industries as well as in dental applications and measuring and control devices. The mercury-bearing district in southwest Arkansas occupies an area six miles wide by thirty miles long, extending from eastern Howard County through Pike County and into western Clark County. Surface …


Mining is defined as the extraction of valuable minerals or stone (mineral resources) from the earth, usually from an ore body, vein, or bed. Materials mined in Arkansas include base metals, iron, vanadium, coal, diamonds, crushed and dimension stone, barite, tripoli, quartz crystal, gypsum, chalk, and bauxite. Mineral resources are non-renewable, unlike agricultural products or factory-produced materials. Mining in a wider sense includes extraction of any non-renewable resource, including petroleum, natural gas, bromine brine, or even water. These resources are recovered by extractive methods that differ from those of normal surface or underground “hard rock” mining methods. Early settlers in the Arkansas Territory used several local mineral commodities. These included galena (lead ore), hematite and goethite (brown iron ores), saline …

Mona Lisa Mine (Polk County)

aka: Porter Ridge Mine
aka: McBride Mine
aka: Blue Bird Mine
aka: Newton Mine
The Mona Lisa Mine, located in Polk County on the ridge of Little Porter Mountain north of Gillham (Sevier County), was first opened in 1958 for the purpose of mining phosphate for agricultural fertilizers. Phosphate mining in other counties decreased the demand for mining from the Mona Lisa Mine, however, resulting in its closure sometime prior to 1963. In 1974, the property was discovered to contain turquoise. This discovery was made by property owner Jack McBride of Denver, Colorado (for this reason, it is sometimes referred to as the McBride Mine). Initial reports estimate that turquoise production of the McBride Mine totaled around 600 pounds. Much of the output of the McBride mine was dyed, stabilized, and compressed into cylinders …