The Old Hickory mineral sands orebody in Virginia is >2,000 ha (>5,000 acres) in size and currently supports a productive row-crop agriculture. Reclamation experiments were implemented on pilot-scale mining pits from 1995 to 1998. Half of each mining pit was, topsoiled with 25 cm (10 in.) of soil. The remaining half was left as either mixed tails/slimes or as regraded subsoil over tails/slimes ... [Show full abstract] treated with 112 t/ha (50 st/acre) yard waste compost. Postmining productivity was estimated to be reduced by 23, 3, 27 and 20 percent for each crop (wheat/soybeans/corn/cotton) in sequence when compared to undisturbed soils. The variability in surface texture and compaction limit the restoration of soil productivity.