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North Carolina - Virginia Coastal Plain - Old Hickory, Brink, Aurelian Springs, Ringwood, Kenly

North Carolina, USA

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Some 19 deposits of heavy mineral sands have been delineated in the upper coastal plain of North Carolina and Virginia, east coast USA.   These resources include the Old Hickory, Brink, Aurelian Springs, Ringwood, Red Oak, Bailey and Kenly deposits which form a linear belt some 150 km in length, just east of the Fall Line in the Coastal Plain.

These deposits are related to a world wide Pliocene transgressive-regressive event that occurred between 3.5 and 3.0 Ma.   The deposits are contained within a unit of terrace deposits and upland sediments.   The sequence on the plain comprises:

Basement - crystalline rocks, mainly granites, talc-chlorite schist, silicified volcanics and graphitic phyllite.
Unconformity - referred to as the Fall Line.
Lower Unit, 0 to 12.2 m thick, of Pliocene age - basal gravel rich micaceous sands (0-3 m), followed by moderately sorted heavy mineral bearing fine sands (0-4.6 m), and an upper layer of medium to coarse poorly sorted sand with dispersed clay layers (0-9.15 m).
Upper Unit, maximun thickness 17 m - fine, rounded well sorted sand locally with up to 50% heavy minerals and dispersed clay.   Above the water table the clay binds the sand, but below it is easily separated and the sand is clean.   This upper unit contains the economic resource.

The total belt contains around 22.7 Mt of heavy minerals within a total of 378 Mt of sand which contain an average 6% heavy minerals.   The heavy minerals comprise 60% ilmenite, 2.5% rutile, 12.5% zircon, 8.5% staurolite, 0.7% tourmaline, 3.0% kyanite, 1.3% sillimanite and 11.5% others (mainly limonite).

For detail see the reference(s) listed below.

The most recent source geological information used to prepare this summary was dated: 1990.    
This description is a summary from published sources, the chief of which are listed below.
© Copyright Porter GeoConsultancy Pty Ltd.   Unauthorised copying, reproduction, storage or dissemination prohibited.


  References & Additional Information
   Selected References:
Carpenter R H, Carpenter S F  1991 - Heavy mineral deposits in the upper coastal plain of North Carolina and Virginia : in    Econ. Geol.   v86 1657-1671


Porter GeoConsultancy Pty Ltd (PorterGeo) provides access to this database at no charge.   It is largely based on scientific papers and reports in the public domain, and was current when the sources consulted were published.   While PorterGeo endeavour to ensure the information was accurate at the time of compilation and subsequent updating, PorterGeo takes no responsibility what-so-ever for inaccurate or out of date data, information or interpretations.

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