Mineral Resources

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Minerals are the raw materials that support much of our day to day life. In this paper I will focus on the major mineral resources of Virginia which are different in each of Virginia’s regions. Virginia is split up between five physiographic provinces. They are the Coastal Plain, Piedmont, Blue Ridge, Valley and Ridge, and Appalachian Plateau. They are each known by different combinations of rock types. The Coastal Plain region is flat. The mineral resources that are mined in the Coastal Plain are sand, gravel, and clay. More recently, mining has begun for heavy mineral sands (ilmenite, leucoxene, and zircon) in deposits discovered in Dinwiddie, Sussex, and Greenville counties. (http://www.vanaturally.org/guide/mineralsandenergy.html) Mineral resources mined in the Piedmont are kyanite, slate, vermiculite, granite, gabbro, diabase, and feldspar. Blue Ridge rocks are quarried for quartzite as crushed stone and, in the past, mining occurred for copper, iron, manganese, and a limited amount of tin. (http://www.vanaturally.org/guide/mineralsandenergy.html) Resources currently mined from the Valley and Ridge region are limestone, dolostone, sandstone, gypsum, iron oxides, clay, oil, natural gas, and shale. The Appalachian Plateau is the source of coal, this region also contains valuable resources of methane, natural gas, and some oil, along with some crushed stone. The most important mineral resources of Virginia are coal, crushed stone, sand and gravel, lime (from limestone and dolostone), and natural gas. (http://www.vanaturally.org/guide/mineralsandenergy.html) Crushed stone can be any type of rock broken into smaller fragments. “Crushed stone is an essential component for today’s construction industry. It is predominantly used in road construction and maintenance as fill, roadbed material, and in concrete and asphalt for road surfaces.

In Virginia, limestone, dolostone, sandstone, quartzite, granite, gneiss, basalt, greenstone, aplite, slate, and...
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