Industrial rocks and minerals of Jordan: a review

  • Hani N. KhouryEmail author
Review Paper


Mineral resources of Jordan were utilized by different civilizations since prehistoric time. The following review highlights important and strategic commodities that are found in a small country with a potential promising future. Jordan is rich in its diverse industrial rocks and mineral resources that are part of the whole stratigraphic sequence from the Precambrian basement complex to the Recent sediments. Such diversity of resources enables Jordan to be not only a host of some unlimited resources but also a natural geology museum. The known commodities include, among others, phosphates, bituminous marl (oil shale), tar sand, varicolored marbles, travertine, radioactive minerals, building and construction materials, clays and clay minerals, diatomaceous earth, porcelanite, Dead Sea brines, rock salt, chalk, limestone, gypsum, glass sand, basalt, pyroclastics, zeolites, granite, copper, manganese, gold, etc. Some of these commodities are unique and unusual in its mineralogy, chemistry, and origin. A novel geopolymerization process was developed in Jordan to produce green building materials (geopolymers) by using Jordanian kaolinite. Volkonskoites (Cr-rich smectite) of Jordan act as a sink for hazardous elements. Varicolored marbles of Jordan are considered a natural cement factory and are analogs of cementitious repositories with the highest alkaline circulating waters in the World. New minerals were reported for the first time, some of which are only known in meteorites. The unusual enrichment of the reduced sensitive elements (RSE) in the oil shale (similar to the source of Mississippi Valley-type deposits) makes it unique as a potential source of these strategic elements.


Industrial rocks and minerals Jordan New minerals Strategic commodities 



The author is highly indebted to his colleagues and students in the Department of Geology, The University of Jordan, for their help and cooperation during the period 1975–2017. Special thanks are given to Mahmoud Hasoneh, Wadah Faris, Yousef Abu Salheh, and Azzam Azzarah for their assistance in the field and laboratory work during the progress of the different mineral resource projects.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of JordanAmmanJordan

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