VA Mining

"If it can't be grown, it's got to be mined."

Virginia has a long history of mining. From coal to vermiculite we mine nearly everything that is available at varying costs and varying benefits to the communities in which the mining takes place. Your job will be to look at the available Virginia resources and decide which is the best and  which is the worst in terms of total community impact.

Things to consider are: 1) what profit is made to the company responsible for mining vs. what benefit do the tax payers in the region receive, 2) how many people are employed by the mining directly (or indirectly if you can find that information), 3) how is the mining done (above ground or below), 4) what is done with mining residue or waste, 5) is the waste harmful, 6) what reclamation/mediation is done to preserve public and environmental health, 7) is the resource available elsewhere.

You can choose a format you would like for your project, but you must include the following:

1) the names of both resources,

2) detailed explanations, with data to justify, all of your decisions and references for all materials you used,

3) images (with sources cited) of the resource, images of the resource being mined, and images of any mediating techniques used.

Recommended Projects: poster or  brochure

Some places to begin:

Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy: Division of Geology and Mineral Resources 

DMME Publications- this will take you to the link where you can scroll down and download Vol. 47 No. 3. This publication contains information about many of Virginia's mineral resources- Read carefully as some are imports and some are exports.

Mineral Information Institute- why mining is important (other links on the side)

Everyday minerals- done by mineralogy students but can be useful

Resources we use- principle minerals mined in the US; again designed for kids but gives you a start.

Virginia Mining Association- Virginia Mining Journal

About coal mining- Environmental literacy

Community Impacts of Mountaintop removal- Appalachian Voice- you will need to explore the EPA links they have posted

Health Problems in coal mines- has a biased perspective, but references public health records for credibility

Virginia Oil- DMME site on Virginia Oil

Oil Resources in Virginia- mostly mining side of Virginia oil (Lots of links on the bottom of the page)

Grading: The best projects will aspire towards these goals. The project is worth 50 points.

A minimum of 90% of the writing is your own (not copied or paraphrased). Material paraphrased MUST be cited. (10 points)

All sources and images are appropriately cited. (10 points)

You fully explain why you chose each of the two (best and worst) mining examples. You include economic, social, and environmental factors. (20 points)

You use excellent English- there are no grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors. (5 points)

Your project is attractively done and reflects a high level of commitment and effort. (5 points)

If you are caught having plagiarized you will be subject to receiving a zero on the project.

 Brett Dooley Website Maintained since 2011 Last Updated July 2019