Alabama Symbols, Emblems, and Honors
Official Alabama Mineral
Hematite, a form of iron, is also known as "red iron ore". Hematite was mined for many years in central and northeastern Alabama in Bibb, Blount, DeKalb, Cherokee, Etowah, Jefferson, St. Clair, and Tuscaloosa counties. Hematite occurs along the entire length of Red Mountain. Birmingham became an industrial center because of the iron ore found there along with coal and limestone. From about 1840 to 1975, approximately 375 million tons of iron ore were mined in Alabama, mainly from the Birmingham red-ore district. Iron ore mining in the state ended in 1975. The statue of Vulcan in Birmingham is cast from iron ore and stands atop Red Mountain. Vulcan is the largest cast-iron structure ever made.
In 1967 hematite was chosen as the State Mineral by the Alabama Legislature.
Act 67-503, Acts of Alabama, September 7, 1967
Updated: Janaury 25, 2010