Ban Gold-mining

Take Action to protect Virginia from the dangers of commercial gold-mining

We have the right and the responsibility to protect the health, water, air and land of rural Buckingham and potentially millions of Commonwealth residents along the Virginia Gold-Pyrite Belt and downstream from the well known ravages of industrial gold mining.

With the help of allies across the state, we got the Virgina General Assembly to approve a study of “The Potential Impacts of Gold Mining in Virginia” by the National Academies of Sciences (NASEM), which was released in December 2022.  For the 4 page summary, click Here. For the full report click Here. 

Overall, the report concludes that “the regulatory framework of Virginia appears to have been designed for operations like sand and gravel operations, not gold mining. As such, Virginia’s current regulatory framework is not adequate to address the potential impacts of commercial gold mining. More specifically, Virginia’s regulatory framework lacks an adequate financial assurance system, which poses a fiscal and environmental risk to the Commonwealth. Additionally, Virginia lacks opportunities for a diverse public to be engaged in permitting processes and a modern system for review of environmental impacts from potential gold mining projects.” 

Below is a wealth of information and resources handy for your education. Thank you for your interest.

10 Major Concerns

1) Dewatering of mines impacting water table for miles around
2) Airborne toxins impacting the local area
3) Leaching of toxins into groundwater
4) Acid Mine Drainage
5) Catastrophic mine waste (tailings) dam failures
6) VA has no regulations on the use of cyanide
7) Forever toxic sites, leaving the forever burden to the taxpayers
8) Virginia’s rainfall is a huge problem – let alone the climate crisis with increasingly devastating storms
9) Local governments are enticed by tax revenue that will never cover the true costs
10) Negligible number of local jobs – most are specialized, imported from elsewhere


We have yard signs, bumper stickers and pins! Please email for your signs:

Good News!

March 26, 2024 Governor Youngkin signed into law HB 85 – Mineral mining and processing; use of cyanide or a cyanide compound prohibited. This bill that protects #Virginia waters was sponsored by Delegate Shelly Simonds and passed both chambers with unanimous bipartisan support! Thank you Del. Simonds for your leadership! Please thank her here:

HB 84, also from Del. Shelly Simonds would create public notification requirements for exploratory drilling. Unfortunately this very modest bill failed in the Senate on February 20.

Both of these concerns were highlighted by the National Academies of Sciences when it created a report for the Virginia General Assembly about the threats of large-scale gold mining.

Commentary:  Mining regulations in Virginia are geared towards sand and gravel, with no protections from the many problems that come with metallic mining.  HB85 does not solve all the problems, but now effectively stops/slows down metallic mining industry interests in Virginia. The cyanide bill was proposed in 2023, but died along party lines. This year we made it through the gauntlet! Thanks to the many, many hands across our lands!



 Updates/Timeline in Brief

March 2024

March 26, 2024 Governor Youngkin signed into law HB 85 – Mineral mining and processing; use of cyanide or a cyanide compound prohibited. This bill that protects #Virginia waters was sponsored by Delegate Shelly Simonds and passed both chambers with unanimous bipartisan support!

HB 84, also from Del. Simonds would create public notification requirements for exploratory drilling. Unfortunately this very modest bill failed in the Senate on February 20.

January 2024

General Assembly 2024: Del Simonds patrons cyanide bill HB85. HB 84 has requirement for exploratory drilling.

Buckingham Comp Plan results released: the majority welcome gold mining!

June 2023

Board of Supervisors meeting 6/12, 6 pm. Sign up for public comment 5:30-5:55 pm. Watch live stream.
Comprehensive Plan Review meeting Thursday 6/15, 6 pm, Community Center. Please speak up. Flyer below. Link to Comp Plan. Link to Zoning Ordinances.
Planning Commission work session on metallic mining is Tuesday 6/20, 6 pm. No public comment. Watch live stream
Planning Commission monthly meeting livestream recording Monday 6/26. Check out our comments beginning 15 minutes. And PC discussion of metallic mining 2:10-2:15.


For past timeline information

Please see this post, which will be updated as room is needed. Timeline starts June 2020.

Quick Resources

  • Buckingham Comp Plan January 2024 results Here.  Page 143 & 150 for mining questions.
  • Buckingham Comprehensive Plan 2015 to 2020 Here.
  • Buckingham County Zoning Code Here.
  • April 13, 2023:  StoryMap published by International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP). After a lengthy battle against a national pipeline, residents of Central Virginia face a new ecological threat – gold mining.
  • April 2023: Southern Environmental Law Center  (SELC) has just published their 10 page Toolkit: “Regulating Gold Mining Activities at the Local Level in Virginia” for communities to better understand the land use tools available to regulate, restrict, or prohibit mining activities. To visit their gold mining page click Here. Click on Resources for the Toolkit.
  • The Minnesota Prove It First Bill and the Myth of Sulfide Ore Mining without Environmental Contamination Report prepared for Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, submitted February 1, 2023, by Steven H. Emerman, Ph.D., Malach Consulting, LLC, E-mail:
  • Safety First: Guidelines for Responsible Mine Tailings Management at Earthworks website May 2022
  • Slide presentation of Legacy Gold Mines – reclamation of gold and mercury by David Spears and Paul Busch. October 2022.
  • Map: Virginia’s Former Gold Mines with Priority Level for Reclamation – Piedmont Environmental Council WebMap. October 2022.
  • Virginia Energy (formerly DMME): State Agency Committee (SAC) gold mining study work group (impacted VA communities)  SAC’s final report was released on Friday, December 2, 2022 and is now on the Virginia Energy website gold page. Here is the VE direct link to the report. The entire report is 294 pages. The first 23 pages is the SAC report. Page 25 begins a listing of the public comments. The Copy of the NASEM report begins on page 67. To visit the Virginia Energy Gold Mining Study page and to view past meeting recordings
  • August 2022: FoB and Virginia Community Rights Network propose to Buckingham Supervisors a Community Bill of Rights, a common sense ordinance that would protect the health, safety and general welfare of the residents and natural environment of Buckingham County:
    • Claims our right and responsibility to make decisions locally to protect our communities.
    • Protects us from the toxic trespass of industrial metallic mining.
    • Prove It First! Show us another metallic mine that has caused no harm.
      For more information, visit the Virginia Community Rights Network (VACRN) project landing page. Read the ordinance HERE. 
  • The Statement of Task: to study the impacts of gold mining on Virginia, as agreed upon August 6, 2021 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) and the state Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (now Viginia Energy).
  • State Agency Statement of Task (SOT), posted 2/28/2022, for the State Agency Committee, including stakeholders. Posted on the Town Hall here.
  • Watch: Our most recent video, of October 2021, Meet our neighbors in rural Buckingham, VA, USA, who are speaking out to protect our community and all those downstream and downwind from the lethal toxicity of a proposed industrial gold mine.  16 minutes
  • Informational flyers on gold mining
  • 4 Maps of impacted communities: 1) DMME Virginia Gold Pyrite Belt & old mine sites (brownfields), 2) DMME, labeled counties, Gold Pyrite Belt & brownfields overlay, 3) VA Gold Pyrite Belt, NOVA insert  4) Warminster, Buckingham exploration sites.
  • Map: of Buckingham County abandoned metals mines. Thanks to Daniel Schaffer of Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance (ABRA).
  • Interactive map of gold drilling areas in Warminster area of Buckingham and communities impacted. Zoom out for existing brownfields in Buckingham County. More thanks to Dan Schaffer!
  • Map: Virginia Downstream Drinking Water Map (downstream from the gold pyrite belt, prime mining area east of the Appalachian Mountains). Thanks to Miller Cochran of Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC). And check out their flyer: “Gold mines harm public health and the environment“.
  • Follow developments here and at FoB Face Book.
  • Watch: Stop the gold mine in Virginia 11 minute video
  • Watch: Mine waste dam failure videos (warning – scary, and real): 2019 Brumadinho, Brasil Dam Collapse 3 minutes and 20 minutes.
  • Watch: Gold Prospecting in VA Educational Webinar 1/12/2021 One hour recording
  • Watch: Delegate Elizabeth Guzman’s press conference with us Friday 1/29/2021.



Ben Price presents to the Buckingham Board of Supervisors 11/15/22: Adopt both a rights-based ordinance to protect our freedom from toxic trespass and a land-use ordinance. Start at 16:50. Stay on for our awesome public comments.

Ben Price: Why adopt a rights-based ordinance to protect our freedom from toxic trespass?
1 hr, 32 mins. August 27, 2022, Union Grove Baptist Church.

Share this 4-minute video on social media and with your decision-makers.

Gold Prospecting in VA Educational Webinar
January 12, 2021 One hour

Meet our neighbors in rural Buckingham, VA, USA, who are speaking out to protect our community and all those downstream and downwind from the lethal toxicity of a proposed industrial gold mine.
October 2021  16 minutes

How Virginia’s Gold Could Harm Your Community Gold mining webinar
Thursday March 18, 2021  One hour

The Dirty Truth About Gold Mining
One hour

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