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.