Competitive Exams: Mineral Resources of North America

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IAS Mains Geography Optional 2012 Solutions

United States of America


  • Pennsylvanian Anthracite
  • Appalachian Bituminous
  • Pittsburgh N. Appalachians (Iron and steel Capital of the world)
  • Birmingham S. Appalachians (Pittsburgh of the south)
  • Interior Provinces (Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas)
  • Gulf Provinces (Texas, Alabama, Arkansas)
  • Rocky Mountain Provinces (Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, N. Mexico, N. Dakota)
  • Pacific Provinces (Washington, Oregon, California)
  • Alaska (future reserves)

Hydro Electric Project (HEP)

Fall Line (Appalachians) , Rockies, Mississippi Basin, Laurentian Shield, Great Lakes, St. Lawrence, Grand coulee Dam , R. Columbia (Washington) , Bonneville Dam R. Columbia (Washington) , Hoover Dam or Boulder Dam (reservoir L. Mead) R . Colorado, Davis Dam and Parker Dam (R. Colorado in Arizona) , St. Lawrence Seaway with generating stations at Beauharnais, Cornwall, Prescott, Kingston, Montreal, St. Anthony falls (Minneapolis) , Long Sault Rapids (Massena) . Dams along Mississippi and Missouri (Fort peck, Garrison, Fort Randall, Gavin՚s Point) . Tennessee Valley Project on R. Tennessee.

Petroleum and Natural Gas

1. Midcontinental region (Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas)

  1. 1930 Oklahoma City became the heart of American oil industry.
  2. Also a great Natural gas area.

2. Gulf coasts region

  1. (S. Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas)
  2. Extends under the continental shelf of the Gulf of Mexico.

3. Rocky Mountain Regions

  1. Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, N Mexico
  2. Mining difficult and expensive (because of scattered deposits, folding and faulting)

4. Californian Region: Centered at Los Angeles, Long Beach and S San Joaquin

5. Appalachian and Eastern Interior Region (Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Ohio)

6. Alaska Region (A pipeline for shipment to USA From Alaska to Valdez)

Iron Ore

  • Lake Superior region (Hematite) e. g. Mesabi (Iron ore is shipped from Duluth)
  • North East region Adirondacks (New York) and Cornwall (Pennsylvania)
  • South East region Birmingham (Alabama) (Red Mountains)
  • Western region Scattered fields at Utah (Iron Mountain) , Nevada, Wyoming, California (Eagle Mountain) Steelworks at San Francisco Los Angeles Pueblo (Colorado) Provo (Utah) Copper
    • Arizona Globe Morenci Largest single copper mine Bingham (Utah) -Montana Butte
    • Nevada and New Mexico (new Producers)


  • USA is very short of tin and therefore imports and stockpiles large quantities. -American stockpile release drastically affects tin prices Bauxite
  • Due to great bulk of the Bauxite, concentration is due at seaboard Locations. -Mobile (Alabama) -Baton Rouge (Louisiana)


  • Lead Rockies, Ozark Plateau of Missouri, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, and Colorado.
  • Zinc Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas
  • Tungsten Nevada, Utah, Idaho
  • Molybdenum Leading producer. Climax mine of Colorado is probably the world՚s largest molybdenum mine.
  • Platinum California
  • Mica Largest produces are Eastern Rockies and Appalachians
  • Sulphur Texas (major producer)
  • Silver, Vanadium and Uranium are also found.

Industrial Regions

Southern New England

  • Centered at Boston -Boston (Shipbuilding, Textiles, Shoemaking, Footwear Machinery)
  • Lowell Providence (Woolen Textile)
  • New Bedford (Worsted Textiles)
  • Fall River (Cotton Textiles) -Hartford (Aircraft and Armaments)

Mid Atlantic States

  • Depends upon Pennsylvanian anthracite Iron ore, Coal and oil from Appalachians (Industrial conurbation from New York to Baltimore) Iron and Steel industries, Engineering, electrical goods etc. Pittsburgh Lake Erie region -Iron and steel Region
  • Pittsburgh (Iron Steel capital of the world) , Cleveland (Steel, Wearing apparel) , Wheeling (Steel) , Akron (Rubber) , East Liverpool (Pottery) , Buffalo (Flour milling chemical metal goods)

Detroit Region

  • Detroit Greatest automobile manufacturing region
  • Centered at Detroit, Lansing and Toledo Automobile and related industries

Lake Michigan Region

  • Chicago (Focal point at the convergence of roads and railways from all over the USA) Iron and Steel, Meat Packing, Grain milling, Agricultural machines, Rail Engines and coaches
  • Milwaukee Steel Engineering Textiles -Gary Iron and Steel

Southern Appalachian Region

  • Birmingham Iron and Steel. (The region gets its H. E. P from the Appalachian fall line) .

Eastern Texas

  • Industrial development dependent upon oil. The area has world՚s largest known deposits of Sulphur.
  • Known for Oil, Chemical and cotton Industries.
  • Shift westward of cotton belt has provided raw material and Created markets.
  • Assisted by the construction of Intra coastal waterway running parallel to the coast.
  • Houston Oil refineries, chemical plants, synthetic rubber
  • Dallas and Fort Worth are twin cities lying in this region. Dallas, a major cotton market is known for clothing and fashion. Fort Worth is known for Cattle, aircraft and aerospace. These two cities share the world՚s largest airport and are also major financial centers owing to vast oil wealth.

Other Industrial Cities

  • St Louis Meat Packing, Flour Milling and Agricultural machines
  • Kansas City Agricultural machine, Aircraft, Oil refining
  • Omaha, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Denver, St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Memphis these places have Flour milling, Meat packing, Cotton textiles, Food processing and other agricultural industries.
  • New Orleans Oil refining, Chemicals and Cotton textiles -San Francisco Oil refining, steel, aircraft engineering, food processing.
  • Los Angeles and San Diego -Oil refining, steel, aircraft engineering, food processing, television
  • Seattle Aircraft, Lumbering, Fish Canning, aluminum smelting.



Cape Breton Island, Vancouver Island (Lies in British Columbia and feeds the Sydney Steel Plants) and Alberta.

Hydro-Electirc Projects

  • Vancouver, Duncan, Bridge river, Arrow Lakes, Corner Brook, Kemono, Churchill falls (formerly Hamilton falls) .
  • St. Lawrence Niagara falls -Rapids at Salt Ste Marie -Nipigon River (Port Arthur and Fort William)
  • Winnipeg River -Kitimat scheme (R. Nechaka) Petroleum
  • Prairie provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan (centered at Edmonton, Calgary and Turner valley) , Grand Bank, Athabasca Tar Sand.
  • Trans Canadian gas pipeline supplies gas from Alberta gas fields to Toronto and Montreal. Iron Ore
  • Knob Lake (Labrador) , Steep Rock (N. of Lake Superior) Baffin Island


  • Copper Sudbury, Flin Flon, Sheridan, Lynn Lake and Coppermine
  • Nickel Sudbury, Lynn Lake, Hope, Thompson
  • Lead, Zinc and Silver Sullivan Mines (British Columbia) . Also in Manitoba and North

West Territories Industries

  1. Lake Peninsula to Montreal -Good Accessibility, Cheap H. E. P American investment Toronto Engineering, Automobile, Chemicals, Textiles, Pulping and Food processing Hamilton (Birmingham of Canada) Heavy engineering and Iron and Steel. Windsor Automobile, Tyre making- Kingston Locomotive
  2. St. Lawrence region Montreal Ship Building, Oil Refining, Paper and Pulp and Food Processing. It is a Leading Grain port. Quebec Marine Engineering, Ship building, Food Processing Ottawa Saw milling, Paper and Pulp
  3. Continental interior (Canadian Prairie) Winnipeg Agricultural, industries, Fur, Dressing textiles Edmonton Oil extraction, Natural gas
  4. Vancouver Lumbering Timber industries Fish canning