The Division of Mineral Mining (DMM) provides for the safe and environmentally sound production of Virginia's non-fuel minerals. DMM administers both health and safety and surface mining reclamation regulatory programs for all non-coal mineral mining operations.
The Division of Mineral Mining was established April 20, 1987, by merging the safety and reclamation inspection and enforcement responsibilities for non-fuel mineral mining operations into one division. These programs were originally administered separately by DMME’s coal mine safety and reclamation divisions. Realignment of the mineral mining programs greatly enhanced the delivery of services by the Department to its customers and the public.
The enactment of mineral mine safety and reclamation laws indicated that state law-makers recognized the mineral mining industry’s contributions to Virginia’s standard of living. It further recognized that, while providing needed resources for development, uncontrolled mining could result in safety and environmental hazards.
Sand Pit, Gloucester County
photo by Phil Skorupa, Division Director
Statewide, there are approximately 440 non-fuel mines covering about 17,000 acres, which are permitted and regulated by DMM. These include quarries, sand and gravel pits, and other surface and underground mining operations. Learn More »
The Division of Mineral Mining is located in Charlottesville, Virginia (contact us). We have 14 mine inspectors located throughout the State with Permitting, Training, Certification and Technical specialists in our Charlottesville facility.
Virginia has a rich history in mining; mining in has taken place in our state in one form or another since man’s initial habitation of the land. Gold, copper, arsenic, manganese, iron, and many other minerals have all been mined in Virginia. Sand, clay, limestone, granite, slate, mineral sands, vermiculite, and kyanite are examples of minerals currently being mined in Virginia.
Large portions of the minerals mined are extracted for the construction of roads and commercial and residential buildings. However, there are other minerals mined that are used for agriculture, high temperature ceramics, and the making of glass. Over 80 million tons of non-fuel minerals are mined in Virginia annually and contribute approximately $450 million to the economy while providing approximately 5,000 direct jobs.