West Virginia Mineral Industries - Clay and Shale

Dividing Line

West Virginia currently has three companies which together produce between 250,000 and 350,000 tons of clay and shale each year. Nearly all of this production is consumed near the mine sites for the manufacture of brick, cement, or clay dummies for blast hole stemming. The brick and cement manufacturers use shales of the Ordovician-age Martinsburg Formation and the clay dummies are produced from the Pennsylvanian-age Bolivar Fire Clay.

West Virginia's clay and shale resource base is enormous and capable of supporting additional brick or cement plants. In addition, deposits suitable for the manufacture of lightweight (expanded) aggregate, refractories, and other products are present in many parts of the State. In the eastern part of the State, the Martinsburg Formation and shales of Mississippian and Devonian age have economic potential. In the western part of the State, the Pennsylvanian-age shales and coal seam underclays have the greatest potential for development.

(adapted from a compilation by Hobart M. King and Claudette M. Simard, updated September 1996)

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