Minerals Topics

Selected Virginia Minerals (Part 11)


• Gypsum is found in sedimentary rocks in the Valley and Ridge of Virginia.  It is often found with halite because the two minerals, called evaporites, form from the evaporation of sea water.

• Thick gypsum deposits located in the Saltville area in Smyth and Washington Counties were mined and processed from the early 1800s through most of the 1900s.

Gypsum Mining
Gypsum mining in Washington County (Photographs courtesy of the Virginia Division of Geology and Mineral Resources]

MapThese photographs, taken before 1907, show gypsum operations at Plasterco in Washington County.  The white rocks in the left photograph are gypsum.