Virginia nelsonites

Region East, Southeast
Mineral systems
Deposit types
Critical minerals
Other minerals

Information leading to the delineation of this focus area

Basis for focus area Area of documented deposits; nelsonite dike-like rocks associated with the Roseland-Piney River mineral district of Nelson and Amherst Counties, Virginia. The deposit type is for related Ti-bearing placers sourced from nelsonite.
Identified resources None.
Production None.
Status Unknown.
Estimated resources Unknown.
Geologic maps Herz and Force (1987), scale 1:24,000; Carter (2008a, b), scale 1:24,000.
Geophysical data Inadequate Rank 4 aeromagnetic and Rank 5 aeroradiometric coverage.
Favorable rocks and structures The Roseland district, Virginia, has long been one of America's leading producers of titanium minerals from both lode and saprolite deposits. Inasmuch as more than 20 million tons of saprolite ore is present in the area, it was possible that placer deposits might have formed as a result of the winnowing of the saprolite by modern streams (Herz and others, 1970).
Deposits None.
Evidence from mineral occurrences Herz and others (1970).
Geochemical evidence Thirty-one panned concentrates of heavy minerals were collected from alluvium in the Tye and Piney River drainage areas and analyzed for rutile, zircon, ilmenite, and magnetite. Rutile was found to be concentrated in the +40-mesh fraction, in which it averages 11.4 and 8.8%, respectively, in samples from the Tye and Piney River drainage areas. Ilmenite is abundant in all samples, from an average low in the Tye River area +200-mesh fraction of 53.7% to a high in the Piney River area +100-mesh fraction of 76.5%. Zircon is largely concentrated in the +200-mesh fraction, and magnetite is present and generally has a low concentration in all samples (Herz and others, 1970).
Geophysical evidence Unknown.
Evidence from other sources See Herz and others (1970).
Comments Herz and others (1970) state that the results from their study indicate the possibility of valuable placer deposits of titanium minerals in large flood-plain and other alluvial deposits in the Virginia nelsonite area; they also indicate that further exploration is warranted to determine their grade and tonnage.
Cover thickness and description Exposed at the surface.
Authors Nora K. Foley, William L. Lassetter, J. Wright Horton, Jr., Laurel G. Woodruff.
New data needs Geophysical data and geochemical analyses; the REE, V content of remaining resources are unknown.
Geologic mapping and modeling needs Geologic mapping sufficient, locally may be improved.
Geophysical survey and modeling needs High resolution aeromagnetic and aeroradiometric coverage. Aeromagnetic data expected to image mafic rocks and associated structures, radiometric data can help with geologic mapping in vegetated terrane.
Digital elevation data needs Lidar complete.