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DIVISION OF GEOLOGY AND MINERAL RESOURCES

Tungsten

Tungsten mines and prospects in Virginia

Pure tungsten is a steel-gray metal with a high melting point and excellent corrosion resistance.  Its chemical symbol is W.  Natural tungsten deposits are commonly in the form of the minerals tungstite, WO3* H2O, scheelite, CaWO4, and wolframite, (Fe,Mn)WO4.  It is used for filaments in light bulbs, electrical contacts in high-temperature applications, as an alloying agent in steel, and in various electronic applications.

Year of first production in Virginia: 1940s
Location of first production in Virginia:  Hamme District, Mecklenburg County
Year of last production in Virginia:  1940s
Location of last production in Virginia:  Hamme District, Mecklenburg County
Total cumulative production in Virginia: unknown
Current annual production in Virginia: none

Wolframite, scheelite, and tungstite were found associated with quartz veins in Precambrian phyllite and granodiorite in southern Mecklenburg County in the Hamme mining district.  These deposits extend into North Carolina, where most of the production occurred.

Selected References: McIntosh, Frank K., 1948, Investigation of the Hamme Tungsten District, Vance County, North Carolina, and Mecklenburg County, Virginia: U.S. Bureau of Mines Reports of Investigations RI-4380, 6 p., 33 figs.

Sweet, P. C., 1983, Mineral industries and resources of Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources, 1:500,000-scale map.

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.

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].