Manganese is a hard, grayish-white, brittle metal with the chemical symbol Mn. Three common manganese minerals found in Virginia are psilomelane, pyrolusite, and manganite. Manganese is an essential ingredient in steel. It is also used in dry-cell batteries and has a variety of chemical applications.
Year of first production in Virginia: 1834
Location of first production in Virginia: Paddy Run, Frederick County
Year of last production in Virginia: 1959
Location of last production in Virginia: Crimora Mine, Augusta County
Total cumulative production in Virginia: unknown
Current annual production in Virginia: none
The manganese minerals found in Virginia are generally manganese oxides, psilomelane, pyrolusite, and manganite; these are sometimes associated with iron oxide deposits. Manganese deposits have been found in Frederick, Shenandoah, Bath, Alleghany, Botetourt, Craig, Montgomery, Giles, Bland, Tazewell, Russell, Washington, Scott, Wise, Smyth, Wythe, and Augusta counties.
The Crimora Mine, located in Augusta County, was the largest producer of manganese in the United States. The Crimora Mine operated as early as 1867, and continued off and on until 1959. The U.S. government purchased and stockpiled manganese ore produced from Augusta County during the 1950s at Riverville, Amherst County.
Selected References: Gathright, T. M., Henika, W. S., and Sullivan, J. L., 1978, Geology of the Crimora quadrangle, Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources, Publication 13, with geologic map.
Miller, R. L., 1944, Geology and manganese deposits of the Glade Mountain district: Virginia Geological Survey Bulletin 61, 150 p.
Stead, F. W., and Stose, G. W., 1943, Manganese and quartzite deposits in the Lick Mountain district, Wythe County, Virginia: Virginia Geological Survey Bulletin 59, 16 p.
Stose, G. W., and Miser, H. D., 1922, Manganese deposits of western Virginia: Virginia Geological Survey Bulletin 23, 206 p.
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].