Mined Lands Inventory, Industrial Minerals, East Texas


The Bureau of Economic Geology, under an interagency cooperative contract with the Railroad Commission of Texas, conducted a comprehensive inventory of abandoned and active mining operations across 84 counties in East Texas. This report represents the second phase of the inventory, begun in 1988 in South Texas (Jackson and others, 1989). Project objectives were to characterize potential reclamation, or priority, sites, to create a surface-mining database of industrial minerals, and to provide data to meet future legislative and regulatory needs.

Comprehensive procedures were established for identification and evaluation of mined lands using U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps, black-and-white and color-infrared aerial photographs, on-site surveys, and low-altitude flyovers. The site location, mineral commodity, and relative size were recorded on a Mined Lands Inventory Form (MLIF) for each site greater than 2 acres. Data on health, safety, and environmental aspects were recorded for all priority sites. All data were entered into the Texas Mined Lands Database (TMLDB), a computer database that follows the format of the MLIF. Locations of all inventoried sites are shown on over 600 topographic maps.

In East Texas, 6,492 mined sites were identified, 3,341 greater than 2 acres, 3,112 less than 2 acres, and 39 of undetermined size. Among sites larger than 2 acres, approximately 1,637 are abandoned, 1,166 are active, and 573 are reclaimed. An estimated 140,000 acres have been disturbed by surface mining, predominantly by sand and gravel mining. Other commodities mined in the East Texas area include limestone, clay, and iron ore.


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