It’s official: New Jersey has a new state mineral
🔵 Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation declaring New Jersey's new state mineral
🔵 The mineral is only found in Franklin and Ogdensburg
🔵 This mineral was very important to the railroad industry and the state's economy
TRENTON — New Jersey has a new state mineral.
Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation today designating Franklinite as the official mineral of the Garden State.
Franklinite is named after Franklin Borough, where it is found. The mineral has only been found in Franklin and in neighboring Ogdensburg.
“By designating Franklinite as the official State Mineral, we celebrate yet another quintessentially Jersey piece of history. Franklinite quite literally helped build our modernizing nation’s foundation while fueling the growth of the railroad industry and New Jersey’s local economies,” Gov. Murphy said.
The legislation will ensure that Franklinite’s enduring economic and cultural legacy is remembered, not just in Sussex County, but across the Garden State, he added.
The largest deposit of Franklinite in the world is in the ore that supplied the Franklin Mine and Sterling Hill Mine in Sussex County, said New Jersey State geologist Jeff Hoffman.
Zinc from these mines was crucial to early industrial development in New Jersey. These mines were also the largest supplier of zinc during World War II, providing the raw materials needed for weapons that helped protect the country and its troops, Hoffman said.
The Sterling Hill Mining Museum in Sussex County has been working for years to gain recognition for Franklinite as the New Jersey State Mineral. After the Franklinite ore was processed to remove zinc, it then became the source of high manganese steel, which is important to the railroad industry, William Kroth, president and executive director of the Sterling Hill Mining Museum, said.
Franklinite is found nowhere else in the world in as great a quantity as in New Jersey.
“Found exclusively in the United States in the communities of Franklin and Ogdensburg, Franklinite is a critical link to our state’s mineral mining heritage and its designation as New Jersey’s official state mineral is most appropriate,” state Sen. Steven Oroho, R-Sussex, said.
State Sen. Edward Durr, R-Gloucester, said that with the signing of the bill, New Jersey will recognize the tremendous impact this mineral has had on the construction of water, electricity, and other crucial infrastructure that residents rely on daily.
“Franklinite, an ore only found in New Jersey, built a town and was a driving force in our state economy while benefitting millions around the globe. It’s fitting to name it the official state mineral,” Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney, R-Passaic, said.