Significant deposits (> 4,000 ha) of heavy mineral sands were discovered in the USA Coastal Plain of Virginia and North Carolina in 1989. The majority of these lands support highly productive row crop agriculture, and the development of restoration protocols that would return these lands to agricultural use was deemed to be critical to the long term sustainability of mining operations. Virginia ... [Show full abstract] Tech worked closely with all stakeholders to develop appropriate restoration protocols and to coordinate their implementation. Full-scale mining operations at the Old Hickory Project in Virginia were initiated in 1997 by Iluka Resources Inc., and restoration protocols have continued to evolve in response to a variety of economic, technical, and social issues. Approximately 750 ha of land are in various phases of backfilling and final reclamation. Return of these lands to agricultural row-crop production has been complicated by lateral variability in mine soil physical conditions, excessive compaction, and limited topsoil return. However, within the past two years, a series of tailings deposition and soil reconstruction practices have been developed and implemented that significantly improve post-mining soil productivity. Deep ripping and appropriate use of organic soil amendments have been particularly effective at restoring post- mining soil productivity.