Non-Mineral Resources of the Northeastern U.S.: a brief review


Non-mineral resources include: the sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rock that we quarry for buildings, monuments, construction and decoration; deposits from the glaciers that covered much of the Northeast over the last two million years, such as clay, peat, sand and gravel; and the soil, which provides the nutrients and minerals for crops, forests and grasslands. Non-mineral resources also encompass the fossil fuels: coal, oil and gas. Just as minerals are vital to the economy and functioning of modern civilization, so too are the non-mineral resources found in the Northeast. According to the Mineral Information Institute, every American born will need in a lifetime, on average, 3.75 million pounds (1.7 million kilograms) of natural resources, including minerals (Figure 7.1). The maps in this chapter depict the principal non-mineral resources currently being mined in each region of the Northeast. 

Figure 7.1: Mineral Information Institute mineral and non-mineral resources statistics.