Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 45.2. Mines, Minerals, and Energy
Chapter 12. Permits for Certain Mining Operations; Reclamation of Land

§ 45.2-1200. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Disturbed land" means the area from which overburden has been removed in any mining operation, plus the area covered by the spoil and refuse, plus any area used in such mining operation, including land used for processing, stockpiling, or settling ponds.

"Division" means the Division of Mineral Mining.

"Mineral" means ore, rock, and any other solid homogeneous crystalline chemical element or compound that results from the inorganic processes of nature other than coal.

"Mining" means the breaking or disturbing of the surface soil or rock in order to facilitate or accomplish the extraction or removal of minerals or any activity constituting all or part of a process for the extraction or removal of minerals so as to make them suitable for commercial, industrial, or construction use. "Mining" does not include (i) any aspect of deep mining that does not have a significant effect on the surface or (ii) excavation or grading when conducted solely in aid of onsite farming or construction. Nothing in this section applies to the mining of coal. "Mining" does not include, and this title, chapter, or section shall not be construed to apply to, the process of searching, prospecting, exploring, or investigating for minerals by drilling.

"Mining operation" means any area included in an approved plan of operation.

"Operator" means any individual, corporation or corporation officer, firm, joint venture, partnership, business trust, association, or any other group or combination acting as a unit, or any legal entity that is engaged in mining.

"Orphaned lands" means lands disturbed by surface mining of minerals, other than coal operations, that were not required by law to be reclaimed or that have not been reclaimed.

"Overburden" means all of the earth and other materials that lie above a natural deposit of minerals, ores, rock, or other solid matter and also other materials after removal from their natural deposit in the process of mining.

"Reclamation" means the restoration or conversion of disturbed land to a stable condition that minimizes or prevents adverse disruption and the injurious effects of such disruption and presents an opportunity for further productive use if such use is reasonable.

"Refuse" means all waste soil, rock, mineral tailings, slimes, and other material directly connected with the mine or with the cleaning and preparation of substances mined, including all waste material deposited in the permit area from other sources.

"Spoil" means any overburden or other material removed from its natural state in the process of mining.

1968, c. 734, § 45.1-180; 1972, c. 206; 1974, c. 312; 1977, c. 312; 1984, c. 590; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.