Earlier this year, the Virginia Chapter of the Friends of Mineralogy (FMVA) reached out to VTCA Aggregate Producers to work together on developing a program to promote the importance of minerals in society.
FMVA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and expanding the study of mineralogy and the hobby of mineral collecting. Our mission is to promote and preserve Virginia mineral and mining heritage while expanding the knowledge of minerals more broadly through community programs and partnerships.
FMVA is making a push to promote mineral awareness through their Virginia Mineral Project. You can find information about the Virginia Mineral Project through their fall newsletter here. VTCA is referenced in three articles in their newsletter!
One initiative of the Virginia Mineral Project is to publish a Virginia Minerals booklet. This will be published in stages and the first chapter will focus on the traprock quarries in Northern Virginia. The focus will not only be on the mineralogy of these deposits but will include the important roll these operations play in the local communities. VTCA is working with FMVA to assist in whatever way we can to make this publication a reality.
While still in the initial stages of our partnership with FMVA, VTCA is starting to see some fruits of our labor. VTCA has helped coordinate a fieldtrip for the FMVA Rockhounding 101 course, and FMVA is assisting VTCA with the Virginia Association of Science Teachers Annual Conference providing educational materials and working with earth science departments across the state.
The next step for VTCA is to develop an accreditation for FMVA members to visit VTCA member aggregate operations for rock and mineral collection purposes. This accreditation will ensure that FMVA members have had basic mine safety training, have agreed to preserve confidentiality, and will facilitate their visits in accordance with VTCA and each operator’s standards and rules. The framework for this accreditation will be developed by a work group made up of members of the VTCA Aggregate Producers Operations and Safety Committees.
More information can be found on FMVA here.
Stay tuned as more initiatives are developed!