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Wisconsin Mineral Resources


Mining of Wisconsin
Mining of Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s mineral output is limited, and it ranks low among the states in value of production. The state produces stone, sand and gravel, copper, and lime. The once-important high-grade iron ore reserves are no longer available. The lead and zinc ores of southwestern Wisconsin were the first of the state’s mineral resources to be exploited and are still quite abundant, but their production depends on market prices. Wisconsin has ample supplies of sandstone, limestone, quartzite, and silica sand. The state is a major producer of dimension stone used for buildings.

Although Wisconsin has meager mineral resources, its location on the Great Lakes favored industrial development. The Great Lakes provided easy access to large reserves of coal and iron ore in Minnesota and cheap transportation for finished goods.

The leading industry groups ranked by employment have historically been fabricated metal products, machinery, food and food products, paper products, transportation equipment, and printing. Fabricated metal products included general hardware, metal plates, formed sheet metal, cans for food products, and stamped parts for the automotive industry. The machinery produced in Wisconsin is diverse, including internal combustion engines, construction machinery, farm equipment, machinery for the paper industry, refrigeration and heating equipment, and computers. Food processing is one of the state’s mainstays. Wisconsin ranks first in the nation in output of cheese. It also ranks high in vegetable and fruit canning.

The brewing of beer is one of Wisconsin’s oldest industries. Paper mills and associated industries, another important manufacturing sector in Wisconsin, create goods such as paper packaging, boxes, and household sanitary products. Transportation equipment manufacturers produce motorcycles, tractors, snowmobiles, and boats. Manufacturing in Wisconsin is concentrated along Lake Michigan, especially in the Milwaukee metropolitan area, and the Fox River Valley. Other parts of the southeast are also heavily industrialized, particularly the cities of Racine, Kenosha, Sheboygan, Beloit, and Janesville. Farther north, along the Fox River, the Chippewa River, and the Wisconsin River, are large centers for paper and wood products, including Green Bay, Appleton, Oshkosh, Eau Claire, and Wausau. Food-processing plants are more widely distributed. "Wisconsin" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.

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