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DIVISION OF GEOLOGY AND MINERAL RESOURCES

Amelia County, Virginia

There are three active mine permits in Amelia County, which are licensed to produce sand and gravel, and gemstones.  In 2006, Amelia Sand Company and Vulcan Construction Materials produced a total of 208,615 tons of sand and gravel.  The mine permit for the Amelia Sand Company #1 quarry site was transferred to Vulcan Construction Materials during 2006, and renamed Amelia Quarry.  Based on the Virginia Division of Mineral Resources (DMR) Publication 174, Digital Representation of the 1993 Geologic Map of Virginia, the sand and gravel were produced from mylonite in the eastern half of the county, which can have a variety of lithologies.  The geologic map indicates where this formation is exposed and accessible.  In 2006, over 170 tons of gemstones were produced from the Morefield Gem Mine.  Using average commodity unit values for Virginia provided in the USGS Minerals Yearbook and Mineral Industry Survey reports, it is estimated that the value of mineral production in Amelia County in 2006 was $1,771,000.  The value of total wages paid to workers in the mining industry during 2006 was about $611,000.  This does not include wages paid to independent contractors, for which wage information is unavailable.  Information on these mining operations is available from the Virginia Division of Mineral Mining in Charlottesville, Virginia (434-951-6310).

An article in Virginia Minerals vol. 46, no. 2, published in 2000, describes the recently produced minerals from the Morefield Gem Mine, which include cleavelandite, monazite, tantalite, and muscovite, as well as amazonite, a gem-quality microcline feldspar, for which this locale is well-known. 

There are 29 identified historical pegmatite mines or prospects, 48 identified historical mica mines or prospects, and 2 identified historical soapstone quarries in Amelia County.  Masses of coarse-grained igneous rock called pegmatite are common in Amelia County, and have been the source of much of the past mineral production.  The pegmatite mines produced mica, amazonite, feldspar, beryl, spessartite (garnet), phenacite, minerals of the tantalite-columbite series, and specimen minerals (Brown, 1962).  The mica and pegmatite mines are located in the areas underlain by garnet-biotite gneiss and migmatitic paragneiss, according to the DMR Publication 174, Digital Representation of the 1993 Geologic Map of Virginia.

Feldspar is no longer produced in Amelia County, but is produced in Amherst, Hanover, and Sussex counties.  Feldspar has applications in glassmaking, ceramics and as filler.

There was only a minor amount of sheet mica produced in the U.S. in 2006, and none produced in Virginia.  Mica was sourced from imports and shipments of U.S Government stockpile excesses.  Most mica was fabricated into parts for electronic and electrical equipment.  Scrap and flake mica were produced in North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and South Dakota in 2006.  Scrap and flake mica was also imported into the U.S.  Primary uses of scrap and flake mica include joint compound, oil-well-drilling additives, paint, roofing, and rubber products.  For more information on U.S. mica production and applications, visit http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/mica/.

The historical soapstone quarries were located near the ultramafic deposit in the western part of the county, about 4.5 miles west of Jetersville.  The attached geologic map indicates where the historical soapstone quarries are located, and where the geologic formations that contain the soapstone are exposed and accessible.  In Brown (1962), it is stated that a northwest trending deposit of soapstone southwest of the Morefield Mine was quarried.  Specific production quantities and location of this quarry are not provided. 

Four samples of clay materials collected in Amelia County were tested between 1957 and 1973, and all were found suitable as raw materials for the manufacture of face brick (Sweet, 1973).  The samples were taken near Lodore, north of Mannboro, east of Rodophil, and southeast of Jetersville.  Descriptive locations are included in the relevant reference below.

Amelia County Geologic Map
Amelia County Geologic Map unit descriptions
Amelia County Historical Mineral Resource Sites
Amelia County Mineral Production, 1986-present
Amelia County Active Mines, 1990-present

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References

Clay

Sweet, Palmer C., 1973, Analysis of clay, shale, and related materials – southern counties: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Mineral Resources Report 12, p. 6-11.

Copper, lead, and zinc

Sweet, P.C., Good, R. S., Lovett, J. A., Campbell, E. V. M., Wilkes, G. P., and Meyers, L. L., 1989, Copper, lead, and zinc resources in Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 93, 185 p.

Gemstones and minerals

Giannini, William F., and Sweet, Palmer C., 1991, Tantalian and niobian resources in Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 115, 28 pages.

Kearns, Lance E., 1996, Bermanite from the Morefield Pegmatite, Amelia County, Virginia: Virginia Minerals vol. 42, no. 2, p. 19.

Kearns, Lance E., 1992, Pyromorphite from the Morefield Mine, Amelia County, Virginia: Virginia Minerals vol. 38, no. 2, p. 14.

Kearns, Lance E., 1992, Prosopite from the Morefield Mine, Amelia County, Virginia: Virginia Minerals vol. 38, no. 2, p. 14-15.

Kearns, Lance E., and Martin, Betsy S., 2000, The Morefield Pegmatite, Amelia, Virginia. Mineral Update: Virginia Minerals vol. 46, no. 2, p. 9-13.

Penick, Jr., D. Allen, and Giannini, William F., 1992, Large spessartine garnet discovery: Virginia Minerals vol. 38, no. 2, p. 15-16.

Penick, Jr., D. Allen, and Sweet, Palmer C., 1992, Mineral Collecting Sites in Virginia: Virginia Minerals vol. 38, no. 2, p. 9-12.

Smerekanicz, John R., Dudas, Francis O., and Baltzely, William D., 1991, Strengite, a new mineral from the Morefield pegmatite mine, Amelia County, Virginia: Virginia Minerals vol. 37, no. 4, p. 31-32.

Sweet, Palmer C., 1999, Vein quartz in Virginia: Virginia Minerals vol. 45, no. 3, p. 23.

General geology

Virginia Division of Mineral Resources, 1993, Geologic Map of Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources, scale 1:500,000.

Mica and feldspar

Brown, William Randall, 1962, Mica and feldspar deposits of Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Mineral Resources Report 3, 195 p.

U.S. Geological Survey data links

http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/state/va.html#myB

http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/mis.html