Anhydrite is a mineral with an extremely close relationship to Gypsum. Where Gypsum’s chemical composition is CaSO4 H2O, the structure of Anhydrite, which comes from the Greek word meaning “without water,” consists of CaSO4. It can even turn into Gypsum if its exposed to water. Anhydrite is primarily used in soil aditives for its calcium content. It can also be used in paint and varnish as a drying agent. Sometimes its also used in drywall.
Anhydrite is found on every continent except Antarctica. Locally it can be found a few miles north of Keller ferry in Ferry County, Mazama in Okanogan County, and Railroad Creek in Chelan County, but there are deposits all over the United States. It is primarily found in sedimentary basins where the seawater has been long since evaporated. It is basically found anywhere Gypsum is found.
The main concern with mining anhydrite is open pit mining, and all that it entails. Particle emissions are also a problem in the grinding process that it must undergo. Other than that I couldn’t find any other environmental issues mining Anhydrite caused, which I found weird considering the fact that it contains about 23.55% sulfur by molecular weight.
If this mineral were somehow removed from existence, I think everything would go on as normal. As I said before, Gypsum is very close in chemical structure, so that any kind of use Anhydrite has, Gypsum can be substituted for. It is just thrown into a kiln to remove the H2O. Without Anhydrite, our drywall, paint, and fertilizers will all be just fine.