the Old Hickory titanium deposit has been mined west of Emporia
Source: ESRI, ArcGIS Online
Iluka Resources mined the Old Hickory deposit in southeastern Virginia between 1997-2016. Mining started at the Old Hickory deposit in Sussex County, and the heavy mineral concentrator plant started operations there in 1998. The mined material was transported as a wet slurry to the concentrator plant.
When the richest areas of the initial Old Hickory site were exhausted, the concentrator plant was moved in 2009 to the area being mined at Brink in Greensville County. That site was mined until 2015.
A wet concentrator plant was also built for the Concord site, which was mined until 2014. The initial Old Hickory mined areas were reclaimed. Ore was also mined at Aurelian Springs in North Carolina.1
Ikula Resources extracted titanium and zircon from the Old Hickory deposit in southeastern Virginia between 1997-2016
Source: Iluka Resources, Stony Creek, Virginia
At strip mines in Dinwiddie and Sussex counties, the soil was moved to one side and then the unconsolidated sands were stripped. Heavy ilmenite, rutile, and zircon crystals were separated from the non-valuable components by gravity. The ore was shipped to a dry mill at Stony Creek, where it was concentrated by electrostatic and magnetic separation. Titanium dioxide was sold for pigment, while zircon was sold for use in ceramics.
Waste material was transported back to one of the areas that had been strip mined, where soil was placed back on top as the site was reclaimed.2
The Old Hickory deposit was created after rivers transported material eroded from the Blue Ridge to the Atlantic Ocean. Sediments were churned by waves at the shoreline. Light minerals, such as sand-sized crystals of quartz (silicon dioxide), were carried further away from heavy titanium and zircon crystals. During times of marine transgression, heavy minerals were concentrated even more on the beaches.3
titanium and zircon were transported from the Blue Ridge to the Atlantic Ocean shoreline, where sediments were reworked through wave action
Source: Iluka Resources, Virtual Mine Site Tour
Ikula Resources processed sediments to separate ilmenite, rutile, and zircon from non-commercial material
Source: Iluka Resources, Images for Media Download