The Allah Cooper Mine

Allie Cooper Mine.jpg

The Allah Cooper ( Ali Cooper, Valcooper, Alley Cooper) Mine is located approximately 5.5 miles northeast of the town of Mineral on Blackwater Branch, a tributary of Contrary Creek.  Prior to to 1907, the Allah Cooper was operated for gold and silver, and it was reported that the silver content was unusually large. Boyd-Smith mines Incorporated acquired the mine in 1915 and operated it for lead and zinc.  During the same year a 50-ton-per-day gravity concentrating mill was constructed on the property.  In 1916 the Virginia Lead and Zinc Corporation purchased the mine. Headquarters for the corporation were in Richmond, Virginia.  The name of the mine was changed from Allah Cooper to Valcooper and the mine operated for lead and zinc from December 1,1916 to January 1, 1918.  According to company records, the mine produced 6,000 tons of ore during this period. Previously it was believed that 1916 was the final year of production for the Valcooper mine.

The Valcooper Mine had a total of 1823 linear feet of underground workings, consisting of an inclined shaft 382 feet deep, with 1030 feet of drifts and 340 feet of cross cuts.  Raises accounted for another 40 linear feet, winzes totaled 31 feet.  All figures for workings are from the original tunnel maps.

The Valcooper mill was a concentrating plant with a dry crushing department, which by means of a crusher, rolls and trommels reduced the mine-run ore size to one-eight of an inch.  The ore then went to a storage bin, then to a declining cone, then to a roughing table.  The lead and zinc products were ground separately in 3 foot Harding Ball Mills. Finally, each of the products were treated on James sand and slime tables.  Although the mill was rated at 50 tons per day, company records show that no more than 40 tons per day could be handled efficiently due to the complexity of the ore. 


 From 2007 to 2008 the Allah Cooper Mine produced 8 minerals new to Louisa County.  They were Vanadinite, pyromorphite, pyrophyllite, cerussite, vauquelinite, mottramite, opal, and wavellite.  Vauquelinite and mottramite are also new to the State of Virginia.

Below is a copy of the Allah Cooper tunnel map