Industrial minerals in Illinois were valued at $1.5 billion in 2014. A significant portion of this value is attributed to increased production of industrial sand (silica sand) in recent years. Construction aggregates and related products, such as portland cement, account for more than 60% of the value of the industrial minerals in Illinois. Although total construction aggregate production has declined from 115 million short tons prior to 2008 to around 85 million tons in recent years, a rebound appears to be occurring because of improvements in the economy and thus an increase in demand for these vital materials. Aggregate is essential for continued economic growth in Illinois because of its direct link to the local and state transportation infrastructure; it adds value to the Illinois economy many times the cost of the raw material. Despite the importance of aggregate resources to the local and state economies, they are rarely incorporated into land-use planning. As a result, in populated and rapidly developing areas, such as northeastern Illinois, aggregate resources are being overrun by residential and industrial expansion. To meet the demand for these materials in these areas, companies are pursing underground mining, especially in existing but depleted stone quarries and sand and gravel pits.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of the 47th forum on the Geology of industrial minerals|
|Publisher||Illinois State Geological Survey, Prairie Research Institute|
|State||Published - 2015|