Legendary Ore Deposits of Indiana (IM-02)
The folklore of every state has stories pertaining to lost, hidden or stolen treasures. Hoosier legends also tell about lost "deposits" of silver, gold or lead. These treasures were supposedly hidden by the Indians and were known only to them. But most tales relate that some frontiersman who was friendly to the Indians was blindfolded and led to and from a cave or a similar excavation filled with large quantities of treasure. Yet no one was ever able to find the place again.

Recent studies of the Indiana Geological Survey have shown that deposits containing lead and zinc materials, fluorite, and barite (but no gold or silver) might be found in Indiana. Such deposits occur at many places in the Mississippi Valley region and form at relatively low temperatures in rocks much like those found in Indiana. Numerous traces of ore minerals, including galena (lead sulfide) and sphalerite (zinc sulfide), are found in our carbonate rocks, especially in northwestern Indiana. Geochemical characteristics of some of these minerals resemble those of ore deposits found elsewhere in the region. Someday the old legends may be proved true as science discovers real treasures hidden in our Hoosier rocks.

Our Hoosier State Beneath Us: Industrial Minerals


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