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DIVISION OF GEOLOGY AND MINERAL RESOURCES

Buckingham County, Virginia

During 2005, three mining companies continued operations in Buckingham County under three separate mining permits administered by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy. A total of 3,884 acres were under permit during the year. The main commodities produced included kyanite and slate.

Kyanite Mining Corporation mined kyanite-bearing quartzite at Willis Mountain and East Ridge, both south of Dillwyn. The kyanite is processed at plants at Willis Mountain and northeast of Dillwyn and marketed for refractory and ceramic uses. The company reported 129,285 short tons of kyanite produced during 2005.

Slate was quarried just west of Arvonia by Lesueur-Richmond Slate Corporation, and also just north of Rt. 652 near Bridgeport by Solite LLC. Slate from the Lesueur operation has been marketed for roofing, floor and flagstone material, wall panels, and for other architectural purposes. Some waste slate was crushed for highway construction, concrete aggregate, and drain fields. Lightweight aggregate for use in the construction industry was manufactured by Solite LLC. At the end of 2005, Lesueur-Richmond Slate Corporation reported 416,385 short tons of product, while Solite LLC reported 138,798 short tons produced.

During recent years several companies have conducted field studies and exploration drilling to evaluate the potential of mineralized strata that trends northeastward south of Andersonville through Dillwyn to New Canton in the northern part of the County. Sulfide mineralization, consisting chiefly of copper, lead, and zinc minerals, with gold and silver occur in this district, which was the site of intermittent mining for many years. In the past gold was mined and prospected at about 25 localities near Dillwyn, Johnson, Arvonia, and Andersonville, by placer, open-cut, and underground methods from the 1830s until the early 1940s. The London-Virginia and the Buckingham gold mines, located just northwest of Dillwyn, and the Sprouses Corner gold mine were reclaimed under the Orphaned Land Program by the Virginia Division of Mineral Mining in 1997. Copper minerals were mined and prospected on a small scale at 10 sites located near New Canton, Arvonia, and Johnson. Iron ore was produced from gossan in the New Canton area for use in local iron furnaces. Ferruginous quartzites east of Dillwyn were also used as a source of iron.

Manganese minerals occur in the County and are reported to have been mined near Curdsville many years ago. Limestone and marble crop out in the vicinity of the James River and were quarried near Manteo and elsewhere for building stone, furnace flux, and agricultural purposes. Crushed stone has been produced from gneiss and other types of rock at several localities. Vein quartz has been quarried for use as ornamental aggregate and for concrete by Central Stone Company (December 1966-August 1967) located west of Diana Mills, and the Hancock Quarry operated by Stone and Mineral Corporation (1967-1969) in northern Buckingham County. Slate near New Canton was used for the manufacture of roofing granules, and sand and gravel have been produced for building and road construction.

Clay materials from twelve selected localities in the County have been tested and found potentially suitable for pigmenting purposes, for structural clay products, and for improving the plasticity of other ceramic raw materials. Testing also indicates that selected samples of slate are potentially useful as raw material for mineral wool, with the addition of proper quantities of lime. Resources that might be considered for future evaluation and development include kyanite and slate, with substantial reserves in the areas of current mining, and granite gneiss in the southern part of the County with a potential for crushed-stone purposes. Kyanite-bearing quartzite also occurs west of Sheppards on Woods Mountain. Mica occurs in the vicinity of Sheppards and Nuckols, and vermiculite occurs in the west-central part of Buckingham County.

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

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References

Clay

Calver, J.L., and others, 1964, Analyses of clay, shale and related materials-west-central counties: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Mineral Resources Report 5, p. 110-125.

Ries, H. and Somers, R.E., 1917, The clays of the Piedmont Province, Virginia: Virginia Geological Survey Bulletin 13, p. 27-29.

Sweet, P.C., 1982, Virginia clay material resources: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 36, p. 19-32.

Sweet, P.C., 1986, Clay-material samples collected 1981-1984 Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 68, p. 17-25.

Copper

Sweet, P.C., and others, 1989, Copper, lead, and zinc resources in Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 93, p. 21-28.

Taber, Stephen, 1913, Geology of the gold belt in the James River basin, Virginia: Virginia Geological Survey Bulletin 7, 271 p.

General

Marr, J.D., Johnson, S.S., Young, R.S., Good, R.S., Sweet, P.C., 1981, Geologic Investigations in the Willis Mountain and Andersonville Quadrangles, Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 29, 83 p.

Sweet, P.C., 1993, Directory of the mineral industry in Virginia-1993: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 129, 29 p.

Sweet, P.C. and Nolde, J.E., 1999, Coal, oil and gas, and industrial and metallic minerals industries in Virginia, 1998: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 153, 25 p.

Gold

Luttrell, G.W., 1966, Base- and precious metal and related ore deposits of Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Mineral Resources Report 7, 167 p.

Spears, D.B., and Upchurch, M.L., 1997, Metallic mines, prospects, and occurrences in the gold-pyrite belt of Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 147, 73 p.

Sweet, P.C., 1983, Virginia gold-resource data: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 45, 196 p.

Sweet, P.C., 1991, Precious-metal mines, prospects, and occurrences in Virginia-an update: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Virginia Minerals, v. 37, n. 1, 6 p.

Sweet, P.C., 1985, Additional gold mines, prospects, and occurrences in Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Virginia Minerals, v. 31, n. 4, 10 p.

Taber, Stephen, 1913, Geology of the gold belt in the James River basin, Virginia: Virginia Geological Survey Bulletin 7, 271 p.

Iron

Espenshade, G.H., 1954, Geology and mineral deposits of the James River-Roanoke River manganese district, Virginia: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1008, 155 p.

Kyanite

Johnson, S.S., 1967, Virginia’s contribution of the kyanite-mullite industry: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Virginia Minerals, v. 13, no. 1, 7 p.

Manganese

Espenshade, G.H., 1954, Geology and mineral deposits of the James River-Roanoke River manganese district, Virginia: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1008, 155 p.

Mineral Resources

Brown, W.R., 1969, Geology of the Dillwyn quadrangle, Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Report of Investigations 10, 77 p.

Ern, E.H., 1968, Geology of the Buckingham quadrangle, Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Report of Investigations 15, 45 p.

Marr, J.D., 1980, Geology of the Willis Mountain quadrangle, Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 25, one sheet.

Marr, J.D., 1980, Geology of the Andersonville quadrangle, Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 26, one sheet.

Watson, T. L., 1907, Mineral Resources of Virginia: Lynchburg, Virginia, Jamestown Exposition Commission, 618 p.
(available as Virginia Division of Mineral Resources, 2003, Digital reprint of T. L. Watson’s 1907 Mineral resources of Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 175, [CD-ROM; 2003, September 1].