Mineral resources have given Alabama a commanding lead among the Southern states in the production of iron and steel. Within a radius of about 25 km (about 15 mi) of the city of Birmingham are found deposits of the three basic raw materials required for steel production: iron ore, limestone, and bituminous coal. By the late 1970s, however, no iron ore was being mined in Alabama, and that used in the steel industry came from outside the state..
Natural gas is Alabama’s most valuable mineral, generating more than one-half of the state’s income from fossil fuels. Large deposits of bituminous coal are found in the northwestern section of the state, while deposits of lower-grade lignite are scattered around the coastal plain. Most of the coal extracted comes from underground mines, some of which are among the deepest in the United States. Tuscaloosa, Walker, and Jefferson are the leading coal-producing counties. Also important is petroleum, which along with natural gas comes mostly from wells in the southwestern counties of Mobile and Choctaw. By value, principal nonfuel minerals produced in Alabama are cement, crushed and broken stone, lime, and sand and gravel. The state ranks fourth in the nation in lime production, while it is first in common clays and second in kaolin, a high-fire clay. Some of the world’s finest-grained marble is found in the Sylacauga area. "USA" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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