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DIVISION OF GEOLOGY AND MINERAL RESOURCES

Spotsylvania County, Virginia

The Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) regulates five mine permits with active mineral mining operations in Spotsylvania County (Table 1).  The total land acreage under permit is about 983 acres.  Three of the permitted mines produce sand and gravel for construction aggregate.  The mines are located in sedimentary strata mapped as the Quaternary age Charles City Formation (Qcc) and unnamed units of Neogene age (Nsg).  The other two permitted operations quarry granitic rocks for crushed stone and also produce manufactured sand that is a by-product of rock crushing.

In 2016, mines in the county produced a total of about 1.6 million short tons of aggregate with an estimated value of $23.8 million (Table 2).  The value of mineral mine products has increased by almost 22 percent from 2014 when the total value was estimated to be about $19.6 million (Table 2).  Employment in the mines has been relatively steady since 2014 (Table 3).  There were a total of 37 workers directly employed by the mining companies in 2016 earning approximately $2 million in wages (Table 3).  Independent contractors and service providers employed by the mines are not included in the employment and wage information.

Spotsylvania County occupies portions of two geologic provinces with a wide variety of mineral and energy resources utilized in the past and present, and potentially available for development in the future (Figure 1).  In the northeastern quarter of the county, unconsolidated sediments are part of Virginia’s Coastal Plain while the remainder of the county is underlain by crystalline rocks of the Piedmont province.  The eastern half of the county contains sand and gravel, clay and granite resources used for construction aggregate.  Sand and gravel deposits occur along Massaponax Creek within the Potomac Formation (Kp), and in the middle of the county hosted in the Ta River Metamorphic Suite (Ta). The central and western portions of the county are within the Piedmont physiographic province.  Here, northeast-trending bands of rocks mapped as the Mine Run Complex and the Chopawamsic Formation (Ccv) host gold, copper, iron and zinc deposits (Table 4).  Mining and exploration of these metallic deposits dates back to the early 1800s; the first occurrence of lode gold in Virginia was reported in 1806 at the Whitehall mine located near Shady Grove Church (Watson 1907).  This and other important historic gold mines including the Goodwyn and Mitchell mines are located in Virginia’s gold-pyrite belt (Lonsdale, 1927).     

Geologic maps of Spotsylvania County are available in reports from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) including mapping at 1:100,000 scale (Mixon et al., 2000) and portions of the county at 1:24,000 scale (Bobyarchick, et al., 1981; Weir, et al., 1985).  These reports are available for free download on the USGS website.

Following is a list of references and resources for Spotsylvania County mineral resources, which includes both references cited above as well as additional sources of information.  Most references can be obtained by contacting DGMR at 434-951-6341 or by visiting our website.

 

Spotsylvania County Mineral Production, 2016
Spotsylvania County Mineral Resource Industry Data, 2016
Spotsylvania County Active Mine Permits, 2016

Virginia Mineral Production, 1986-present
Virginia County Active Mines, 1990-present

Access DGMR's Collections including our Interactive Geologic Map, VGIC (publications, rock samples, geologic maps, coal quality, and orphaned mines) as well as our Webstore where publications can be purchased or downloaded for free.

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References

Building Stone
Harrison, N., 1986, Fredericksburg’s Battlefield Granite: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Virginia Minerals, v. 32, n. 3. 

Sweet, P.C., 1990, Present and future dimension stone industry in Virginia, in: Zupan A.W., and Maybin, A.H. (eds), Proceedings of the 24th Forum on the Geology of Industrial Minerals, May 2-5, 1988, Greenville, South Carolina, p. 129-135.

Webb, H.W., and Sweet, P.C., 1992, Interesting uses of stone in Virginia – Part I: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Virginia Minerals, v. 38, No 4. 

Clay
Calver, J.L., Hamlin, H.P., and Wood, R.S., 1961, Analyses of clay, shale, and related materials – northern counties: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Mineral Resources Report 2, p. 170-182.

Sweet, P.C., 1982, Virginia clay material resources: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 36, p. 112-113.

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

Copper
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.

General – mineral production
Gilmer, A.K., Enomoto, C.B., Lovett, J.A., and Spears, D.B., 2005, Mineral and fossil fuel production in Virginia (1999-2003): Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Open-File Report 05-04. 

Geology

Bobyarchick, A.R., Pavlides, Louis, and Weir, Karen, 1981, Piedmont geology of the Ladysmith and Lake Anna East quadrangles, and vicinity, U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Investigations Series Map I-1282.

Mixon, R.B., Louis Pavlides, D.S. Powars, A.J. Froelich, R.E. Weems, J.S. Schindler, W.L. Newell, L.E. Edwards, and L.W. Ward, 2000, Geologic map of the Fredericksburg 30’ X 60’ quadrangle, Virginia and Maryland:  U.S. Geological Survey Geologic Investigations Series Map I-2607.

Wier, K. and Pavlides, Louis, 1985, Piedmont geology of the Spotsylvania quadrangle, Spotsylvania County, Virginia:  U.S. Geological Survey Geologic Investigations Series Map I-1568.

Glauconitic marl
Clark, W.B., Miller, B.L., Berry, E.W., and Watson, T.L., 1912, Physiography and geology of the Coastal Plain Province of Virginia: Virginia Geological Survey Bulletin 4, p. 90-95, 248-249.

Gold
Lonsdale, J.T., 1927, Geology of the Gold-Pyrite Belt of the northeastern Piedmont Virginia: Virginia Geological Survey Bulletin 30, p. 84-85. 

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. 

Sweet, P.C., 1971, Gold mines and prospects in Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Virginia Minerals, v. 17, n. 3. 

Sweet, P. C., 1982, Gold occurrences in Virginia, an update: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Virginia Minerals v. 28, n. 4, p. 33-41. 

Sweet, P. C., and Trimble, D., 1983, Virginia gold resource data: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 45, p. 183-192. 

Granite
Steidtmann, E., 1945, Commercial granite and other crystalline rocks of Virginia: Virginia Geological Survey Bulletin 64, p. 41. 

Iron
Watson, T.L., 1907, Mineral resources of Virginia: The Virginia Jamestown Exposition Commission, J.P. Bell Company, Lynchburg, Virginia. 

Lead
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. 

Mica
Brown, W.R., 1962, Mica and feldspar deposits of Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Mineral Resources Report 3. 

Pyrite
Lonsdale, J.T., 1927, Geology of the Gold-Pyrite Belt of the northeastern Piedmont Virginia: Virginia Geological Survey Bulletin 30, p. 9-10, 89-90. 

Poole, J.L., 1973, Iron sulfide mines in Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Virginia Minerals v. 19, n. 3, p. 29-33. 

Sandstone
Watson, T.L., 1907, Mineral resources of Virginia: The Virginia Jamestown Exposition Commission, J.P. Bell Company, Lynchburg, Virginia. 

Zinc
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.