Gold embedded in quartz from the Buckingham Vein. Courtesy of Aston Bay.

The Virginia Department of Energy will hold a public meeting of the state agency component of the Gold Study Workgroup on Sept. 26. The meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the Buckingham Community Center, 16268 N. James Madison Highway, in Dillwyn.

There will be a public comment period during the meeting. The workgroup will receive a presentation from the Virginia Association of Counties and review a portion of the draft report due to the General Assembly by Dec. 1.

The General Assembly passed legislation in 2021 that formed the workgroup evaluating the impacts of gold mining after a Canadian prospecting company began exploring Buckingham County for mineable gold deposits. The workgroup consists of two parts: a committee evaluating the technical aspects of gold mining that is led by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM). The other component includes representatives from Virginia Energy, the Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Department of Health, the Council on Environmental Justice, the Monacan Indian Nation and local citizen groups. 

For those looking for more information, or interested in submitting comments or viewing past meetings visit the Virginia Energy website.

Gold mining was most active in Virginia in the 1800s. Currently only one company is actively listed as mining gold in Virginia. It is removing gold and environmental contaminants from material left behind from the previous mining in Goochland County. For background on why there’s gold in Buckingham County, see this story earlier this year: “Below the James, under the earth.”