umans have long used earth materials from Virginia. Coal was mined as early as 1748 from Triassic rocks in the Richmond basin. Today coals of Pennsylvanian age, exposed in the Appalachian Plateau of southwestern Virginia, are an important economic resource for the region.
Over 30 mineral resources with an annual value in excess of 2 billion dollars are currently produced in Virginia. In Buckingham County the dark blue-gray Arvonia slate is quarried for monuments, roofing stone, as well as to make lightweight aggregate for building material. Kyanite is mined from aluminum-rich quartzites at Willis Mountain. On the Coastal Plain sand and gravel are abundant and every year over 10 million tons of material is excavated for construction purposes.