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DIVISION OF GEOLOGY AND MINERAL RESOURCES

Historically Mined Mineral Resources

Non-fuel mineral resources have been mined in nearly every county of Virginia. The physical and chemical characteristics of these resources often reflect the type of rock in the geologic province from which they are extracted.

Ores containing iron, copper, lead, zinc and the precious metals gold and silver were mined in Virginia in the past, but most of these metallic deposits are small and of relatively low economic importance today.

Some resources mined in Virginia are considered “Critical Minerals” by the United States government. Critical minerals are commodities that are important to national or economic security. For example, some critical minerals play an important role in the manufacturing of a necessary material for the energy industry, such as uranium and hafnium. Other critical minerals, such as tantalum, are critical to the electronics industry. Although such resources are highly important to various sectors of the economy, the United States is heavily reliant on foreign import. Historically however, several critical minerals were mined in the Commonwealth. Learn more ».