Virginia Operation

Virginia Operation

Iluka’s Virginia operation involved mining and processing activities at various locations between 1997–2016.

  • Wet concentrators at the mine sites used gravity concentration to separate valuable heavy minerals from non-product material.
  • The heavy mineral concentrate was transported by truck to the Stony Creek dry mill, where saleable products were isolated by electrostatic and magnetic separation.
  • Saleable products, such as zircon and ilmenite, were transported to customers by truck, rail and ship. Non-saleable mineral was returned to the mine void.

Read more about the mineral sands process here.

History

1990

Iluka begins partnership with Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia to measure progressive reclamation outcomes

1997

Stony Creek mineral separation plant and Old Hickory mine commissioned

2002

Concord mine commissioned

2007

Interstate Mining Compact Commission National Mine Reclamation Honorable Mention

2008

Virginia Transport Construction Alliance Best Reclamation Award Winner

2009

Old Hickory mine idled

United States National Reclamation Award

Interstate Mining Compact Commission National Mine Reclamation Award Winner

Brink mine commissioned

2014

Concord mine idled (April)

2015

Concord mine restarted (June)

Virginia operations idled (December)

2016

Began processing stockpiled minerals (October)

2017

Care & Maintenance status Announced
Initiated Old Hickory Site Review
Ongoing decommissioning, land reclamation, rehabilitation and monitoring activities

Reclamation

Following the recent completion of mining and processing activities, Iluka’s Virginia operation is focused on land reclamation and rehabilitation. Land reclamation of the Virginia mine sites will approximate pre-mining topography. Reclamation objectives are determined in consultation with landowners, regulatory authorities and technical experts. Reclamation plans are developed for the reconstruction of soil profiles, landform shapes and re-establishment of the agreed vegetation.

Iluka’s activities are regulated by the Virginia Division of Mines, Minerals and Energy; Virginia Department of Health; Virginia Department of Environmental Quality; US Environmental Protection Agency; US Army Corps of Engineers; and Virginia Department of Transportation.

Land reclamation at the Old Hickory, Concord and Brink mines involves a number of activities including soil testing, land surveying, earthworks, re-vegetation and ongoing monitoring activities. Iluka’s current closure schedule expects to see completion of all activities at the sites by 2024, however this will be guided by regulator and landowner feedback.


Community

Over the last 20 years, Iluka has been a key part of the community, employing approximately 160 staff annually and investing $120 million into the Commonwealth of Virginia.

In this time, the company has also supported a number of local organizations including:

  • Family YMCA of Emporia-Greenville
  • Jackson-Feild Homes, Jarratt VA
  • Southside Virginia Community College, Alberta VA
  • Old Hickory Fire Department, Stony Creek VA
  • Meherrin River Arts Council
  • Brink Ruritan
  • Boys and Girls Club of Emporia
  • Virginia 4-H Youth Development

Reclamation and research

Iluka has been undertaking progressive reclamation activities at the Old Hickory, Concord and Brink sites since the commencement of mining. The company has collaborated with Virginia Tech for over 25 years to measure and improve reclamation outcomes for agricultural land. The results of the research monitoring conducted between 2004 and 2014 were published in 2014. As a result of this project, protocols for the reclamation of prime agricultural lands following mineral sands mining have been developed and implemented.

More information on this research can be found here.

Iluka has been recognized for its land reclamation activities in Virginia:

  • United States National Reclamation Award 2009
  • Interstate Mining Compact Commission National Mine Reclamation Award Winner 2009
  • Virginia Transport Construction Alliance Best Reclamation Award Winner 2008
  • Interstate Mining Compact Commission National Mine Reclamation Honorable Mention 2007

Iluka has also won awards for numerous sustainability initiatives in Australia:

  • South Australian Premier’s Award for Excellence in Social Inclusion (2017)
  • Western Australia Water Corporation Platinum Award (2016)
  • Western Australia Water Corporation Waterwise Business of the Year (2016)
  • South Australian Premier’s Award for Excellence in Supporting Communities (2015)
  • South Australian Premier’s Award for Environmental Excellence (2014)
  • South Australian Premier’s Award for Excellence in Social Inclusion (2013)
  • United States National Reclamation Award (2009)
  • Victorian Government via Strzelecki Award in Excellence in sustainable development (2009)
  • Victorian Government via Strzelecki Award in Excellence community engagement (2005)
  • Western Australian Golden Gecko Award for Environmental Excellence (1999)