Industrial minerals are defined as a naturally occurring rock or mineral, exclusive of metal ores, mineral fuels, and gemstones. Industrial minerals are diverse materials and are used in virtually every aspect of modern life, providing raw materials for many industries, including building, manufacturing, and agriculture. The world of industrial minerals covers more than sixty substances, from abrasives to zeolites, commonly invisible to the general public in their application.
Important industrial minerals and construction material currently produced in Colorado include sand, gravel, crushed stone, silica sand, dimension and decorative stone, cement, clay, gypsum, sodium bicarbonate, peat and helium.
More than 400 tons of sand, gravel, and crushed stone are utilized in the construction of a typical home.
Bricks from Colorado clay are used in construction across the Rocky Mountain region.
Most Colorado gypsum is mined near the town of Gypsum and is used to make wallboard (drywall).
Cement from Colorado’s three cement plants also provides building material for the region and helps reduce the nation’s dependence upon imports.