Thank a Miner For The Raw Materials Behind Everyday Products
30 Nov 2015
Celebrate National Miners Day on December 6
ST. LOUIS (November 30, 2015) – December 6 is National Miners Day, a day designated by Congress to honor American mine workers. Mineral mining, which includes copper, zinc and lead, supports 1.3 million U.S. jobs by directly employing 433,000 people, and indirectly employing 872,000, according to the National Mining Association.
“Here in Missouri, our geography is rich in natural resources. Many southeast Missouri towns began as small mining communities hundreds of years ago, and these early miners unearthed minerals that contributed to Missouri’s economy, and that helped our country grow,” said Steve Batts, vice president – Southeast Missouri Operations at Doe Run. “Every day, we are grateful for our employees who continue in this proud tradition. We hope that everyone takes a moment on December 6 to think about the men and women working to supply the critical minerals that help us watch TV, make calls and drive to work every day.”
Miners at The Doe Run Company (Doe Run) operations near Viburnum, Missouri, extract lead, copper and zinc ore that serve as the raw materials for important products for daily life, including vehicle batteries, energy storage for solar and wind power, and protection from radiation in medical applications.
Each American uses 45,557 pounds of raw materials annually, including lead, which is critical to transportation, communications, construction, health care, military and technology. Consumer products, such as electronics, use a significant amount of minerals. For example, TVs utilize 35 different minerals, and computer chips utilize up to 60 minerals. Renewable energy technologies, such as electric vehicles, solar panels and wind turbines, also depend on minerals to produce and store energy, including rare earths, copper, zinc and lead.
Mining industry by the numbers:
- Because minerals are essential building blocks to so many everyday products, $704 billion worth of processed mineral materials – used by industries including construction, manufacturing and agriculture – add more than $2.4 trillion to the U.S. economy.
- The mining industry pays some of the highest wages in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average wage for all U.S. miners is $74,267. In comparison, the average wage for all U.S. workers is $51,295.
- In Missouri, mining supports more than 33,380 jobs and ranks 13th out of the 50 states for jobs contributed by metal mining.
The U.S. mining industry will expand by approximately 50,000 employees by 2019, and require an additional 78,000 replacement employees due to retirement to continue to provide these valuable minerals and metals.
“A decline in the number of mining and mineral engineering programs at U.S. colleges and universities adds to the challenges of employing a qualified mining workforce. That’s why Doe Run has committed to taking an active role in building the next generation of miners,” said Mark Coomes, vice president – human resources and community relations for Doe Run. “We’re fortunate to have good educational institutions in our area that support mining engineering and related degrees. By supporting those programs, as well as offering scholarships and internships to students studying mining, engineering and geology, we are helping to secure the future of this important industry.”
More than 880 people work at Doe Run’s Southeast Missouri Mining and Milling Division (SEMO), where they are responsible for exploring potential ore bodies, blasting and hauling ore to the surface, and milling the material to produce some of the purest lead concentrates in the world.
About The Doe Run Company
Based in St. Louis, The Doe Run Company is a privately held natural resources company and a global provider of lead, copper and zinc concentrates. Dedicated to environmentally responsible mineral and metal production, Doe Run operates one of the world’s largest, single-site lead recycling centers, located in Boss, Mo. The Doe Run Company and its subsidiaries deliver products and services necessary to provide power, protection and convenience. Doe Run has operations in Missouri, Washington and Arizona. For more information, visit www.doerun.com and sustainability.doerun.com.
Editor’s Note: Members of Missouri’s legislature and other guests toured The Doe Run Company’s Buick Mine and Mill on November 24th. A high-resolution copy of the below photo is available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.