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What are some precious metals mined in Texas?

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Quick Answer

As of October 2015, no precious metals are mined in Texas. Copper and silver were mined historically, leading to some residual gold mining. Texas currently mines valuable nonmetal minerals, including several rare earth elements and precious gemstones, such as jasper, topaz and opal.

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Full Answer

Copper was mined in Texas in the northern, central and western regions of the state. Most copper came from mines in the Trans-Pecos area. The highest concentration of ore was taken out of the Hazel copper-silver mine from 1891 to 1947.

Silver mining in Texas was confined to the Trans-Pecos region, where four counties held functional mines: Brewster, Culberson, Hudspeth and Presidio. The most productive mines were Presidio and Hazel in the Shafter mining district of Presidio county, outputting over 30 million ounces and 2 million ounces respectively from the late 1890s to the late 1950s. Silver mining shut down in the state after this time period, until attempts were made to reopen the Presidio mine in 2011; however, the mine closed in 2013 due to a drop in the price of silver.

Miners also find rare earth elements, used to create chemical catalysts, optical fibers and metal alloys for the petroleum, communications, aerospace and electronics industry, in the Trans-Pecos region. They locate gemstones deposits throughout the state.

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