A proposed gold mining operation in Buckingham County, VA, first reported in the October 8 issue of ABRA Update, will be the subject of continued deliberation next week. The Buckingham County Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission will conduct a joint hearing on Monday, January 11 regarding whether the local zoning ordinance should be amended to permitted.
For the past several years, the mining industry has been drilling exploratory holes in Buckingham County — in violation of the local ordinances — including near the largely African-American community of Union Hill community which had just vanquished the massive proposed dirty-gas compressor station that was part of the now-defunct Atlantic Coast Pipeline. When word got out in mid-2020, ABRA member Friends of Buckingham sprang into action and have succeeded in getting the county to take a closer look and not just rubber-stamp the industrial activity. Buckingham County is just the beginning of a potential onslaught of gold mining in Virginia. Whether the county allows the industry carte-blanch to tear up the landscape and pollute water sources could set a precedent across Virginia localities.
Another, major concern about the proposed gold mining operation is its certain impact on water quality on the James River, the principal source of water for the Richmond area and beyond.
Friends of Buckingham is conducting a special webinar on the threat of gold mining in Virginia on Tuesday, January 12 from 6 to 7 pm. For more information on the Board of Supervisors hearing and the webinar, click here.