November 12, 2003
New Decorative Stones Report Available

The Wyoming State Geological Survey (WSGS) has published the results of a three-year field and laboratory research project on decorative stones in southern Wyoming. The study was originally funded by a grant from Union Pacific Minerals and continued by Anadarko Petroleum, which purchased Union Pacific Minerals during the course of the study. WSGS Public Information Circular (PIC) 42, entitled Decorative stones of southern Wyoming by Ray E. Harris, includes locations of more than 60 potential quarry sites for decorative dimensional stone and aggregate located in Wyoming south of 42¼ degrees north latitude.

Southern Wyoming contains a variety of granite, marble, sandstone, quartzite, gneiss, limestone, and volcanic rocks suitable for decorative stone uses. Since the United States imports over 80% of the dimensional stone used in interior and exterior construction, this industry has a potential for growth. Some limited exploration for stone has occurred in southern Wyoming the past 12 years, and one quarry, Raven Quarries, operated from 1990 to 2003. With convenient transportation and a wide variety of rock types and colors available, Wyoming is one of the most promising locations for expansion of this revenue- and job-producing industry. Dimensional stone is quarried in large blocks by sawing or drilling the stone and then either processed on site or shipped by truck to a fabricating plant.

The report includes site maps and locations from Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology, photographs of the sites, and photographs of cut or polished rock samples. All 139 illustrations are in full color. Besides the site descriptions (legal locations, land and mineral ownership, geology, and suitability for quarrying), the introduction includes a discussion of the terminology used in the stone industry.

The 55-page report can be purchased for $10.00 (plus 6% sales tax) over-the-counter at the WSGS office on the University of Wyoming campus in Laramie. Orders for the publication can be placed by phone, fax, or Email and should include $2.55 for shipping and handling and 6% sales tax for Wyoming addresses.

Press Release
from the Office of the Wyoming State Geologist
Ron Surdam, State Geologist