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DIVISION OF GEOLOGY AND MINERAL RESOURCES

Loudoun County, Virginia

During 2006, five mining operations were active in Loudoun County producing crushed stone. These included mines operated by Loudoun Quarries and Chantilly Crushed Stone, Inc., both part of the Gudelsky Group, and three sites operated by Luck Stone Corporation at Leesburg, Goose Creek, and Bull Run. Mining activities were conducted under permits issued by the Division of Mineral Mining, and the total area permitted in the County covered about 1,200 acres. Annual production reports for 2006 indicated that a total of about 9.4 million short tons of traprock (diabase) were mined for crushed stone, down slightly from 10.6 million short tons reported in 2005. Based upon preliminary estimates of the average unit value of crushed stone in Virginia reported in the U.S. Geological Survey Mineral Industry Survey Report, the total value of the stone mined in 2006 was about $101 million. Crushed stone is quarried and marketed for use as roadstone, concrete aggregate, and for asphalt stone. Loudoun Quarries, located northeast of Dulles International Airport and Chantilly Crushed Stone, Inc., located just south of the airport, both quarry and crush diabase for various crushed stone applications. The annual production reports for 2006 indicate that about 241 workers (205 production plus 36 office workers) were employed by the mining operations in Loudoun County during 2006, receiving wages exceeding $13.6 million. These figures do not include workers employed as independent contractors to the mining companies.

Historically, mining operations in the County have produced a wide variety of commodities including copper, iron, dimension stone, roadstone, dolostone, lime, and marble. Limestone, marble, and limestone conglomerate have been used as raw materials for local lime kilns, and for architectural and ornamental use. Basalt, diabase, gneiss, phyllite, pyroclastic rock, and conglomerate have been quarried for use as roadstone, and locally as road metal. Some of the companies that operated these mines, and time periods of operation are listed below:

-Goose Creek Lime Co.- SW of Leesburg, along Goose Creek (early 1800s).
-Loudoun Marble Co.- SW of Leesburg, along Goose Creek (1800s).
-Marshall Quarry- SE of Lovettsville (1800s).
-Luckett Quarry-SW of Oatlands (1800s).
-Taylor Quarry- N of Taylorstown (1800s).
-Shumate Quarry-W of Leesburg (1820s?).
-Leesburg Lime Co.- in town of Leesburg (1888-1945).
-Evergreen Quarry-near Evergreen Mills (1900s).
-Leesburg Lime and Fuel Co.- in town of Leesburg (1930s).
-Virginia Marble Co.- SW of Leesburg, along Goose Creek (1901-1940s).
-Arlington Stone Co.- SE of Leesburg, (1928-1972).
-VDOT quarry-W of Goose Creek, N of State Highway 7 (1946-1957).
-Howard & Marcum Pit-S of Leesburg (1959-1968).
-Howard’s Shale Pit-S of Leesburg (1968-1981).
-Leesburg Stone Corp.- SE of Leesburg, (Luck Stone) - (1972-1973).
-Virginia Trap Rock, Inc.-SE of Leesburg (1957-1993).

Sandstone has been quarried near Aldie, Leesburg, and Oatlands for use as building stone, and has also been quarried as a source of roadstone. Limestone conglomerate has been quarried at sites near Leesburg for building stone, agricultural stone, roadstone, concrete aggregate, and for the manufacture of lime.

Copper minerals have been prospected at the Goose Creek Mine, located about 2.5 miles east of Leesburg. In 1883, Eagle Mining Company reportedly sank three shafts on copper- and silverbearing veins cutting shales of Triassic age. Only a very small amount of production was recorded. In the 1960s, exploratory work was again reported, but no production was recorded. Another occurrence of copper has been reported near Sterling in a roadcut along State Highway 28. The minerals malachite (copper carbonate) and chrysocolla (copper silicate) can be observed in Triassic-age shales. Zinc and lead mineralization has been reported in limonite gossan located near Point of Rocks, where iron ore was mined in the 1800s to supply the Potomac iron furnace. Deposits of ocher located just north of Leesburg were reportedly found along the eastern base of Catoctin Mountain.

The Division of Geology and Mineral Resources collected ten samples of clay, shale, and related materials in Loudoun County during a survey of potential resources in the early 1960s. Shales from selected localities east of Lucketts, near Arcola, and north of Hillsboro were found potentially useful for the manufacture of brick. Shales and mudstones near Ashburn and Herndon are potentially useful for the manufacture of brick and sintered lightweight aggregate. North of Sterling, a clay sample indicates potential use for brick, tile, and low-grade pottery. Shale and mudstone located south of Aldie may be suitable as raw materials for brick and tile. Shale and clay residuum, located 3 miles east of Leesburg, were tested and found potentially suitable for brick and structural clay products. Detailed information concerning these sample localities may be found in the references listed below.

In addition to these clay, shale, and mudstone resources, other mineral resources that may be available for future development include diabase, which is used for aggregates, marketed as roadstone, concrete aggregate, and asphalt stone. There is also potential for further development of industrial carbonate resources. Marble units in the Fauquier Formation may have potential use as chemical grade dolomite (high-magnesium carbonate), and as fillers and extenders in paint, plastic, rubber, etc.

Loudoun County Geologic Map
Loudoun County Geologic Map unit descriptions
Loudoun County Active Mine Permits
Loudoun County Historical Mineral Resource Sites
Loudoun County Mineral Production, 1986-present
Loudoun County Active Mines, 1990-present

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References

Geology
Gathright, T.M. II, and Nystrom, P.G., Jr., 1974, Geology of the Ashby Gap quadrangle, Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Report of Investigations 36, 55 p.

Parker, P.E., 1968, Geologic investigation of the Lincoln and Bluemont quadrangles, Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Report of Investigations 14, 23 p.

Toewe, E.C., 1966, Geology of the Leesburg quadrangle, Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Report of Investigations 11, 52 p.

Virginia Division of Mineral Resources, 2003, Digital representation of the 1993 geologic map of Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 174, compact disc.

Clay
Calver, J.L., and others, 1961, Analyses of clay, shale and related materials – northern counties: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Mineral Resources Report 2, p. 78-89.

Sweet, P.C., 1982, Virginia clay material resources: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 36, p. 19-32.

Copper, lead, zinc
Luttrell, G.W., 1966, Base- and precious metal and related ore deposits of Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Mineral Resources Report 7, p. 51-55.

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, p. 95-96.

Diabase and Granite
Gooch, E.O., Wood, R.S., and Parrott, W.T., 1960, Sources of aggregate used in Virginia highway construction: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Mineral Resources Report 1, 65 p.


Steidtmann, E., 1945, Commercial granites and other crystalline rocks of Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Bulletin 64, p. 35-37.

Limestone, Marble, Industrial Carbonates
Giannini, W.F., 1991, Analyses of carbonate rocks – Northern Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 108, 104 p.

Mack, T., 1965, Characteristics of the Everona Formation in Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Information Circular 10, p. 13-16.

Parker, P.E., 1968, Geologic investigation of the Lincoln and Bluemont quadrangles, Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Report of Investigations 14, 23 p.

Toewe, E.C., 1966, Geology of the Leesburg quadrangle, Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Report of Investigations 11, 52 p.

Ocher
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]. p. 227-228.