Wonders of Wyoming, Dave Walsh

bentonitethphoto courtesy of smalipl.com

Dave Walsh 17 March’16

I guess you could call this Wonder, Magnificent Mud.  It’s actually a clay material, but to the oil and gas industry, it’s very much, well, magnificent mud.  It’s a substance that is formed through the weathering of volcanic ash, and it’s here in the Cowboy State where you’ll find more than two-thirds of the nation’s supply of the stuff.

This Wonder is mined in open pits, primarily in Big Horn, Crook, Johnson, and Weston Counties.  These mines will produce about 2-and-a-half million tons of “Bentonite” a year.

It’s a key ingredient in the exploratory drilling process for gas and oil.  Bentonite is also used as a filler in many cosmetic products, and many food products and animal feed.  And Bentonite is often used as a sealant in water reservoirs and sanitary landfills.  It is indeed a Wonder that serves many purposes, and the vast majority is mined right here in Wyoming.

Bentonite, a very useful Wonder of Wyoming.